Tahiti and Her
by Deb Roskamp
their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic
images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea,
Taha'a. Her people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed.
Warm lagoons, majestic peaks, tropical fruits from the land
and bounty from the sea all tantalize the senses. Paradise!
As near as can be found on planet earth.
And, in my experience, the finest way
to explore her is on a ship designed for that single purpose.
A vacation that will provide a lifetime of unforgettable
memories, a longing to return to a state of bliss -- even
if only in one's mind.
I had the privilege of sailing
on the Paul Gauguin exactly four years ago. A smaller vessel,
elegant in its simple design. Perfect for experiencing all
that its destinations offer. Nature and culture. Often I
go back to those memories and treasure them. Treasure them
for reminding me that life can be simply about beauty. Beauty
in the elements and in those people who inhabit them. www.rssc.com
Below are copyrighted photographs
by Deborah Roskamp. You can look but you may not steal.
Click on the photos for enlargements. For hi-res images,
please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Things You'll Want to Know Before You Go:
- Just below the equator in the South Pacific
- Nearest continent: Australia, 5200 km
- Of volcanic origin, either high islands
- Humid and tropical climate (rainy season
between November and April)
- Original fauna include many seabirds,
shellfish & fish
- Luxuriant fauna is mostly that introduced
First inhabitants probably sailed from what
are Indonesia and the Philippines today -between 200BC and 400AD
No written Polynesian language exists to provide a record of early
First contact with Europeans was in the 1400's by the Spanish,
followed by the
Dutch, English and French
In 1957, the islands became part of French Polynesia
Music, singing and dance are integrally
Traditional instruments were drums and the nasal flute
Tattoos symbolized clan membership & social status, and were
generally geometric shapes or stylized plant or animal motifs.
They were originally made with pieces of bone soaked in black
pigment and struck by a mallet to penetrate the skin.
Surfing may have originated here; canoeing is highly valued
Originally polytheistic, Protestantism and Catholicism now dominate
A ringlike coral island and reef that nearly or entirely encloses
Open-air stone walled temple, used to celebrate religious and
Fragrant skin and hair conditioner made by soaking tiare flowers
in coconut oil
Small islet in a lagoon
- Noni Juice
From the fruit of an evergreen shrub & used in traditional
Sarong-like printed rectangular cloth worn by both men and women
(origin of the English taboo)
Sacred or forbidden
Sweet-smelling white gardenia
Carved human-like structure having a potential for harm if handled
Practical Travel Tips
- Best airline serving the U.S., Europe,
Japan, Australia & New Zealand: AirTahitiNui.com
- Electricity: www.kropla.com/
- Currency: http://www.xe.com/ucc
- Heiva Festival - celebration of music
and dance throughout the month of July, in Pape'ete
- Hawaiki Nui Canoe Race - early November
- Souvenirs: black pearls, pareu, vanilla,
more black pearls, monoi oil, noni juice, a tattoo!
- Best selection and prices are in Pape'ete
Recipe: I'a Ota
- 1 kg red or white tuna, cubed
Rinse in sea or salt water, then leave to soak in same, with
2 crushed cloves garlic. Drain, then place in large bowl. Add
juice of 2-3 limes and let stand for 5" - 1 hour.
- Mix in:
- 2 carrots, grated
coconut milk or grated coconut
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 to 5 scallions, green and white portions, split lengthwise
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Films shot on
- Tabu - 1931
- Hurricane - 1937
- Mutiny on the Bounty (remake) - 1962
- Bounty - 1984
As always, I love your eye for beauty. In your
Guadalajara article you capture the people. In your Tahiti pictures,
it is the scenic beauty that mesmerized me. I love especially
the tranquil silhouettes with their mirror images. Where can I
get a good deal to visit the place? Simply beautiful! Send us
South Pasadena, CA
Okay, Im going to Guadalajara.
It looks like a destination that Mexican tourists go to. Amazing
shots. Of course, Im a sucker for kids.
You certainly have an eye for photography. Sometimes
we stay in a place too long to appreciate the beauty that surrounds
us. Your photos show a visitor appreciating not only the sculptures
but the intermingling of the people around it. I believe sculptures
were meant to be experienced and I'm glad the Guadalajara government
opened this interaction instead of relegating these pieces in
a stuffy museum.
Would love to see more of your work.
South Pasadena, CA
Seeing kids playing on art: that's amazing. It's
what art and travel are all about. Thanks for capturing some pretty
striking images. These should be in a book.
The images are magnificent; I have only been to
Mexico on two occasions and would love to discover more of it.
Ill have to add Guadalajara to my long list of places to
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