Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Onboard the Aranui 3 - Part 4

(Be sure to check out Onboard the Aranui 3  - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you haven't already.)
Going through my notes ... here is list of misc items I made note of:

I was glad I had insect repellent high in deet. Two of the islands have no-nos, a type of gnat that leaves a nasty bite. One passenger did not listen to the crews' advice and went to the beach with no repellent on. He fell asleep, got over 200 bites and was sick with a high fever for a couple of days. (We also had a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt to wear on these islands.)

I was told clothing on board was extremely casual and it was. Also glad we brought clothes that we didn't mind getting sweaty, wet or muddy.

We both had footwear that could get wet and we practically lived in them. Some pax had not only sandals that could get wet but also water shoes to wear in the water ... which turned out to be a smart move because most of beaches had rocks ..both on the beach and in the water.

The Aranui brochure mentions "jeep" tours. Actually these are 4-wheel drive pickup trucks that hold 4 pax each. I would guess that everyone on an island who owns one of these stops whatever they are doing and takes advantage of the additional income from providing pax transportation. What amazed us were the number of late model vehicles, like Dodge Rams and Ford Rangers. We learned that not only is the cost of the vehicle subsidized for Marquesa residents by the French government, but the loans for the balance have very friendly terms.

I was sorry that I dragged my binoculars along. I knew this wouldn't be a place for bird watching but I thought maybe we'd see some ocean life like dolphins or whales. While we did see both, the experience was extremely brief.

Anyone want a Polynesian tattoo? Here's your chance to get one. One of the crew members is a tattoo artist and, off the top of my head, I probably saw new tattoos on at least 10 percent of the passengers.

The Aranui definitely serves an important purpose. As one passenger said, "someone has to deliver the mail." Cargo was not only delivered from the islands to Tahiti, but also island to island. For instance, we saw huge bags of gravel being loaded. They were coming from an island that had a quarry to an island that was building a new road. Open crates were filled with packages being sent from island to island and to Pape'ete ... when we arrived in Pape'ete, people were lined up at "ticket" windows to claim packages they were waiting for.


Rogue Wave said...

Thank you so much for this very detailed report! I'm enjoying it very much.

Marcia Andre said...

We're going on the Aranui in a couple o weeks. Your information is extremely valuable. Thank you so much!

diane said...

Glad I could help!