Ventured into Papeete this morning. Markets, shops, traffic and evidence of a grand colonial past. Parc Bougainville a lovely tranquil spot. Here's something interesting - Captain Bougainville landed in Tahiti before Captain Cook. The botanist on board Commerson's partner Jeanne Barrett was dressed like a man during the expedition (1768) and became the first woman to sail around the world. The Bougainvillea plant was of course named after Bougainville.
I purchased a cheap bag in the market today to leave some of my belongings and collected collateral in the hotel. Apparently they are very strict on luggage allowance on the flight to Mangareva - 20kg and 3 kg carry on. I NEED snorkelling gear and fins, plus the gifts I'm taking. Will my bottle of rum be traded for a pearl?
The sun has just set over Moorea - my pick-up tomorrow is at 5.50am. I'm so excited and very ready for the next and biggest stage of the journey ... the flight to Mangareva and boarding the Claymore II tomorrow. No guarantee on communication but will do my best!! Au revoir for now!