So this must be what it was like in Hawaii 50 years ago – sleepy little villages, amazing beaches, crystal clear waters all crowned with dense tropical foliage.
Our Paul Gauguin cruise itinerary brought us to the shores of this island to spend a magical day. We decided against any of the organised excursions and instead took the tender to the island and then hopped on “le truck” which bounced us all the way into Fare, one of the “towns”. No concessions on the beach here – no umbrellas or loungers for rent – it is all just as nature intended. After a morning of swimming and snorkelling we had amazingly worked up an appetite.
On the main street of Fare we found Chez Guynette, a small oceanfront pension offering private rooms and also a hostel type dormitory. On the terrasse we joined the locals for cold beers, sandwiches and frites. What a cute place – you can stay there for $20 a night in the dormitory as long as you don’t mind sharing a bathroom. Now this is something I might have gone for in my youth.
The island seems to be a bit of a retreat as well for those wanting to escape the cold North American winters. Lovely beachfront houses are available to rent from about $700 a month and a daily market offers fruit, veggies and lots of local produce at very reasonable prices.
At the end of our day however it was lovely to get back to our Paul Gauguin cruise. The ship is so small and intimate and the atmosphere is definitely “clubby”. Already we have made friends with such interesting people and the singles travelling on this ship are very definitely never “alone”.
Tomorrow we are off to Bora Bora – the “bucket list” destination island for beach lovers and romantics alike.