Sunday flight to Tahiti - the TN aircraft was named "Mangareva" - how appropriate (my port to board the Claymore II!). Flying time was 4 hours and 35 minutes and was very comfortable on the A340!
Sunday in Tahiti is Mothers Day. It has to be afternoon because of the position of the sun. Today I'm a traveller - a single traveller - a SOLO traveller. Eyebrows raised when I asked for a towel for the pool... "On your own??!!" Clearly most guests at Manava are family or couples. It's been a long time since I have been a solo traveller, not in a business role , not as a girlfriend, wife or mother. Feels strange like back to travelling in my teens & early 20's. So all day the person I chat to is moi. Lazy Sunday afternoon, swim, read, swim, people watch, gaze out to the island of Moorea, watch the boats, add more sunscreen, read more book.
Sunday Evening - I decide to venture a short distance from my hotel to a local car park for dinner. Carpark by day, by night the locals set up food stalls called Roulottes. I choose "Sunset Roulotte" with a choice of pizza, crepe or galette & can of coke for XPF1300 and opt for a cheese, mushroom and onion galette. Plastic tables, chairs, tablecloth & disposable glass, stainless cutlery.
I'm soon joined by a local couple who have lived here for 5 years. He has been involved with aviation. I tell them where I'm heading - they know where Pitcairn is and he describes Mangareva as "THE" most beautiful Tahitian Island (more beautiful than Bora Bora!). The subject of Black Pearls enters the conversation. Mangareva is famous for the highest quality black pearls "Which can be traded for alcohol" ??!! Now there's a thought!!!
Our conversation moved to the economy. They are returning to France. Tahiti is too expensive and too small (they leave every 6 months or so). We talk about the closure of hotels here - Sofitel, Hilton etc with many being converted to apartments. We talk about Pitcairn. I ask "If you find Tahiti too small, imagine Pitcairn." We talk about it's size, population, isolation and ponder the challenges...