In all the Society Islands, the mountain drops very steeply onto a narrow strip of surrounding land, typically only 20-30 meters wide and split in two by the road that tours the island itself.
All this flat land is divided in property lots which belong (probably since centuries) to a family: one between the road and the mountain, and one between the road and the sea.
The houses are in most of the cases very simple, just wooden walls and corrugated iron-roofs, while the gardens are often very well kept and full of multicolored plants; beside the house, new and expensive cars, mostly big japanese or american SUV’s.
The poorer villages have a unkempt road and no SUV’s.
A strange habit that we saw in Bora Bora are the ancestors’ tombs in the lawn in front of the houses!
In Tahaa, we spent a night moored to the buoys offered by the so-called “Yacht Club” which is in fact a restaurant.
The property beside that of the yacht club is a Pearl Farm, and the two are only nominally separated by low schrubs; signs encourage visitors to go in and see the pearls.
A couple of days before, we had come here by car and Baby went into the Pearl Farm courtyard welcomed, or so she thought, by some cheerful geese: she extends a hand, and a goose attacks her, hissing like an angry cat, and bites her toe!! (all documented by Keith of “Baccus” who was filming the supposedly charming scene…)
When we came back with the boat, Baby went to see the geese well armed with some stale baguette breads: it’s not clear if that was to make friends or as a weapon, fact is the geese did not bite…