As I mentioned in a previous post, it rained on and off during the night and continued to do so up until breakfast. We thought we might catch a break today, so we hopped on bikes (provided for us at the bungalow) and headed up the road a couple of kilometers to Le Petite Village. Of course we didn’t even get out of the driveway before the rain started coming down……and, boy, did it ever! We got dumped on before we even got ½ mile up the road. So we stopped and took cover under a tree for a few minutes to let it pass and then continued our quest. Naturally we were pretty wet, and the rear tires were kicking water and dirt all up and down our backs, but who cares!? We are riding bikes (in the rain) in Tahiti!!!
Le Petite Village is just a small shopping area with a handful of shops, a small grocery/convenience store, a gas station and a couple of very small restaurants. Our main purpose was really to use the cash machine, which once again, failed us. We are finding that to be an issue. We have been told that certain cash machines work for some people and others do not. We, unfortunately, are of the not……….so hopefully it will not pose a cash flow issue in the next few days. But we will figure it out.
After our failed attempt at the ATM we checked out the shops. Lots of t-shirts, post cards, and touristy stuff you would expect. There were also a whole lot of carved items like tiki statue made out of wood or lava rock. Plus, there was plenty of jewelry, too. We did find one particular store that had several carved pieces that caught our eye, but we decided to wait on it and come back later in the week if in fact we decided to splurge on something fancy for the house.
A quick trip through the grocery for some shrimp for dinner, and some Nutella to go with our daily bread (as well as appease Adam’s guilty pleasure!), and we hopped back on our bikes and continued up the road just a bit. We passed the old Club Med resort that has long since been closed. We could see the dilapidated bungalows and grown-over tennis courts beyond the fence line and realized that is what the location must have been. I am curious how severely it affected the local economy when it closed simply because there is truly very little in the area……so few stores, so few restaurants. Which begat what? Did Club Med close because the area is kind of remote and does not offer a bounty of options to tourists, or are there fewer shops/restaurants due to Club Meds disappearance? I will have to check into that.
Back on the bikes to head back to our home away from home and have some lunch. It sprinkled on us a bit, but neither of us really cared. The view is absolutely magnificent. The mountains are incredibly lush and green, the palm trees are tall and full of fruit, and the vines and flowers are mesmerizing. I am not quite sure how it happened, but we did not take one single picture along the way. That will be remedied in the next couple of days, I am sure.
Once we returned to the bungalow it POURED! Granted it only lasted a few minutes, but it came down and then we got some thunder with it. We had yet to experience that, so it was rather exhilarating. Even with all the rain, the sun still seems to fight its way through the clouds and brighten everything around us. So it isn’t like a gloomy rainy day in Seattle. It is absolutely beautiful, and I keep finding myself distracted by all the colors and swaying of the palms outside. I am also dying to get back to the beach, so that is the only thing making me a little antsy today. It feels so good to be relaxed, just hanging out reading, listening to the iPod, watching the rain fall, listening to the Myna Birds (and the damn roosters……yes, even in the rain they won’t shut their beaks!), hearing the occasional coconut fall from a palm and hit the ground with a big thud (you have to be careful under those), and watching the sun illuminate the mountains in the distance and the colors all around us.
It is still very early in the day, and since I don’t think the beach will happen for quite a while today if at all, I will go and sit myself down with my next book. I just finished Lord of the Flies yesterday (good book…..quick and easy read), so I am going to dive into Gulliver’s Travels today. Both seemed appropriate selections for the trip. Let’s hope that neither is at all prophetic. So far Adam has shown no signs of putting on war paint and throwing spears at me, so I think we are good.