This is a lesser known Tahitian attraction! We visited this sight to find it was free, and we were the only people there other than the gardeners. It wasn't easy to find however. You need to get on a bus going towards Paea. Keep a look out for the town hall (hotel De Ville) on your left. A minute or so later you will see a supermarket on the left with a pull off from the road. Just to the right of this is the sign for Arahurahu Marae. Walk down the side road, past lots of residential properties, and you will find the 'complex' at the bottom.
We took a day long 4x4 safari in to the Island's interior. As soon as you leave the main road you are travelling on rough track, which gets bumpier and muddier as you head inland. The scenery is wonderful, but be prepared for rain. At one point we had to get out of the jeep and walk as the road had been washed away and the vehicle wasn't going any where with us still in it. Definitely a worthwhile trip and very different from the towns and resort areas.
I figured this was just off the beaten path enough to require a tip. During our tour of the island we stopped at the One Tree Hill lookout point, and actually found a public telephone there! What a unique place for a phone... I guess back before cell phones, this was to call your friends and tell them how beautiful your view is!
It is not uncommon to see Papaya Fruit growing in the trees in Tahiti (well it does help if the tree it is growing in is a Papaya Tree).
In Britain, Papaya is considered a bit of a delicacy, and you pay a lot for it as you can't gow it over here.
In the Pacific reason, it seems to be about as common as apples are here, and it is often used to make into juice. It is quite a watery juice and is very refreshing. Typically the inside of the fruit (and the juice) have a pinky colour.
Coconuts are well known throughout the world. In the west, we may think of coconut as being dessicated and cooked into biscuits or chocolate bars, or we may be familiar with them at a fair ground as hard brown objects that have milk inside.
However when you see coconuts in Tahiti (and elsewhere), they are green (rioening to brown), softer and much bigger, so you tend to wonder at first if they are a different species! They aren't. The two are the same, but what happens is the fibrous exterior is stripped off the nut (to make it smaller and lighter to ship).
Very little is wasted of the coconut. The milk can be drunk, the inside can be made into dessicated coconut, the husk can be used to burn or for making textile materials of. It is therefore considered vry versatile and highly valued.
In case it isn't obvious from the picture, Indian Figs are the common term for talking about fruits on a cactus.
These fruits are very tasty, but also very full of pips. When picking them, they are also very spikey, so take care. I remember helping a friend of mine pick some once in Cyprus, and he had a special implement that was a long stick with a small cup shaped object on the end. You put the cup over the fruit you want, and twist. Off comes the fruit in the cup. He was up a ladder, and was dropping the fruits out of the cup into my hands to catch. After catching one or two fruits, I suddenly realised my hands were full of small thorns, which he found highly amusing, and I found somewhat less so!
Due to the high number of pips, they are very good for making you regular (as a doctor might say!). The fruit is also quite watery so would be a good source of liquid in a dry climate.
The Breadfruit in Tahiti is famous, and has been for centuries. It is a very starchy melon that can weigh up to 2.5 kilos (so they get pretty big!).
The Mutiny on the Bounty is pretty well known around the world, and this took place in Tahiti. A large part of the reason for the mutiny were that the sailors had fallen for the asy charms and beauty of the Tahitian women and didn't want to leave them. However another factor was down to breadfruit!
Being starchy, it is high in carbohydrates (which are good for giving you energy when you are doing physically demanding tasks). In 1787 when the HMS Bounty landed in Tahiti, breadfruit was therefore considered a good food source for the Caribbean slaves. The job of the sailors on the Bounty was to collect breadfruit plants to export to the Caribbean. This they spent 6 months doing. The sailors liked breadfruit as it tasted like bread. However when they found out that some of their drinking water during the voyage was to be used to water the breadfruit, this caused great unrest and was another factor in the mutiny!
Ironically when the breadfruit trees were finally delivered to the Caribbean on a later expedition, the slaves disliked the taste of the breadfruit so much, they refused to eat it!
Hire a boat to take you snorkeling or diving. Ask specifically if they can bring you to see the Giant Manta Rays; only a few operators will bring you. If you're lucky enough to find them, you'll have the experience of a lifetime.....these beautiful massive creatures have a wing span up to 20 feet across....they don't habitat many places on earth and to be able to see them while SNORKELING is fantastic! You don't need to Scuba.