(Tahauku Bay, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia)
We’ve been in Atuona for two full days now and two things have happened worth noting.
One, we have legally checked into French Polynesia starting the clock on our 90 day visa stay. The whole process was a breeze. The only thing that cold have potentially caused us trouble was the bond we had to post to prove we’d leave their country of paradise. A simple hurdle solved by our gracious 24-hour-cancellation-period friends over at the flight agent Orbitz.com. Instead of posting a large bond at the local bank, we purchased flights home in the coming months, presented our confirmation tickets to the Gendamerie authority, received our official entry stamps in our passports, then swiftly cancelled said tickets without a penny spent. Thank; you; very; much.
Two, we have both developed a pleasurable, yet waistline expanding, yet very economical addiction to french baguettes. In every one of the three grocery stores, as well as the dockside gas station, you can buy a freshly baked, three-foot, melt-on-your-tongue french baguette. Delicious in ripped off chunks walking down the road. Tasty under eggs fried in the morning. Delectable paired with chunks of savoury and subsidized french cheese. The ways to enjoy this veritable staff of crispy and crusty outside with its soft chewy inside just goes on and on.
As a third unasked for noteworthy point there’s heaps of fine people here too. There’s the wonderful lady selling fresh produce and farm eggs every morning out of the back of her truck in the parking lot across from the bank. There’s TIm, who after Greg gained some good karma helping him decant a large propane bottle with French fittings into his smaller American galley tank, brokered a deal to give us a boost to our own dwindling cooking gas supply. Every local we’ve come across is worth mentioning here too. They all are friendly, quick with a smile, and seem genuinely happy we’re here. And finally there’s our favourite Frenchman and his lovely Canadian girlfriend, Paul and Sundy. They had us, along with Roger and Sasha, over for amazing and authentic French crepes. Mmmhmmm.