Crepes and eels in French Polynesia

As I sit on the balcony of my suite on the lovely Paul Gauguin the magical island of Huahine sits bathed in early morning sunshine.  Last night’s crossing from Papeete was a little tippy but then we are on a rather small ship and one designed specifically for the shallow waters of the lagoons surrounding these beautiful islands. Rather than “tippy” it was more like being rocked to sleep. We left Papeete after midnight

Huahine from my balcony

which gave us a chance to enjoy the weekend highlight of Papeete harbour – les roulettes. These mobile restaurants set up shop every Friday and Saturday night and compete happily side by side. Chairs and tables are laid out all around the roulettes. There were a few tourists here and there but for the most part these were local families. Mom, Dad, kids, babies, grannies – you name it. The teens were having fun too with a large area set aside for skateboarding daredevils who were admired by groups of giggling teen girls. So after we had enjoyed a fabulous meal on board the Paul Gauguin we declined dessert and made tracks for the roulettes so as to experience

Lining for the the crepes

their speciality – crepes. Oh my goodness – you can have them sweet or savoury, filled with just about anything your imagination can conjure up. We were somewhat conservative and stuck to banana with vanilla and – yes –it was divine. The crepe was paper thin and light as a feather and consisted of no calories at all – right? Now as we get closer to Huahine I can see the aquamarine water of the lagoon. The island is the site of great archeological importance with many ceremonial temples known as Maraes. It is also the home of the sacred eels – apparently they grow up to six feet and have translucent cold blue eyes …. Mmm they sound a bit scary but my Paul Gauguin info sheet tells me that they are gentle and harmless and are only interested in “sacred mackerel” from “sacred cans” that can be purchased at any “sacred market” on the island. Ok then! Let’s go discover Huahine.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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