Another lovely island and most of the passengers headed to the pearl farms. It is reallyl incredible to witness all the effort that goes in to getting a black pearl from an oyster. However, since I had seen a pearl farm, and Mike and I were desperate for an internet café, along with Carolina, and Liza, Mike’s wife, we set off on a paved road toward the KiaOra resort. The first part of the road spliced a sparse area of local homes; children and dogs played under exotic fruit trees. One of the local dogs took a liking to us, and alternately led and followed us. The sun was beating down. There was little breeze. After a mile or so, the road turned left and was just feet from the water. Dog and I went to some tide pools where she played in the water chasing away the fish I was trying to photograph. The rest of the group sprawled under a tree. 

Dog and I finished with the fish, and that’s when Mike told me it was another eight kilometers to the hotel. That’s about five miles!! Visions of a cold beer danced in my head as we trudged on, rivulets of perspiration provided “water cooling” as a sea breeze kicked up. I knew we had come a long way when dog stopped short and turned around heading home. 

We finally reached KiaOra, a charming hotel with thatched roof rooms built on wooden supports stretching out into the brilliant blue bay. What a lovely Sunday! Sunday? Oh my God, no beer or liquor was served to hotel non-residents on Sundays. AND, it was Election Day, so no amount of begging did a bit of good. I paid $6 for a diet coke. Oh, and no internet for non-guests. 

The thought of that dreadful walk back, without having any success at this hotel, almost compelled me to register for a room. Luckily, we ran into more intrepid travelers who had taken the beach from the tender dock to the hotel. My estimation is that by that route it was about a mile back. The only time we had return to the road was when we came across a Tahitian home. The beach is owned by residents, and we would have had to walk with one foot on the sand and one on a Rangiroan’s front steps. He wasn’t smiling. 

We joined the road at about the spot where dog and I had first met. He was sitting in the shade of an old Toyota pickup. I’m sure he barked to the other dogs, “There’s the idiot I told you about.” 

All in all, tired as I was, it was a memorable experience, and I didn’t have to buy a pearl. Oh, and the reason I don’t have any photos of this memorable experience? My digital camera simply gave up and no matter what I did would not take a photo. 

As usual, dinner was excellent. The after dinner entertainment was team trivia. Even though dog wasn’t around, I wanted to show I wasn’t a complete idiot, but the day had knocked all trivia out of my head, and the cabin was calling. 

The gentle waves rocked me to sleep as we sailed towards Bora Bora.


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