We had heard that the people on Tubuai are friendly and that the island is beautiful. The truth is the people are incredibly friendly and the island stunningly beautiful.
Things could have started badly as we entered the lagoon through a secondary pass and just as we passed through the reef were hit by five big waves one after another. Luckily we hit no coral but it was an exciting introduction.
We anchored off the village and took the dinghy to shore. The first person we met greeted us with “welcome to Tubuai!” We reported to the extremely friendly Gendarmes who answered all our questions as if they were the local “office de tourisme”. The internet hotspot wasn’t working but the town secretary let us use her computer during her lunch break.
The dentist fixed Neill’s teeth and invited us to his house to use his Internet and give us iced coffee and amazing dried fruits. His cousin made Heidi a floral crown and then his wife dressed her in a polynesian outfit and taught her to dance. The next day Mila – the wife – guided us to the top of the highest mountain and performed a folk song and dance on the summit.
We decided to move to the harbour wall so went and asked the Gendarmes if that was OK. They sent us to the polynesian authorities who told us the mayor was responsible. The mayor’s secretary (Mrs Internet) told us to see Adrian at another department of the polynesian government. Adrian insisted he was not the Capitaine de Port but allowed us to tie up on the quay.
So now we are “downtown”. The dentist’s family visited with all five children for pizza, gateaux de Heidi and swimming and today a french engineer and a local stopped by for coffee. A local policeman stopped for a chat and promised to return with bananas.
Just writing about Tubuai is exhausting.