At breakfast today we entered the beautiful harbour in Papeete. On one side the lush tropical hills and on the other, the commercial port. The cruise terminal is essentially at the centre of town making it easy to walk to anywhere in downtown.
Papeete is a historical treasure based on the early travels to the island of Tahiti by Captain Cook, and latterly by the American author (James Norman Hall) of Mutiny on the Bounty and the filming of three versions of the book. Each version of the movie became more difficult to film as more and more buildings were built along the coast. Some scenes (Marlon Brando version) were moved to the adjacent island of Moorea as the sand there is white while the beach in Papeete has black sand. The epic musical South Pacific was also filmed here and shown in the theatre on board. Amazing to see the movie and then the scenes first hand.
The lighthouse built in the mid 1800’s still stands marking both the harbour entrance and a runway beacon for the international airport that runs parallel to the harbour. The father of Robert Louis Stevenson was the designer of this light. A pearl market occupies a major spot in the centre of downtown as does the fruit, vegetable, flower and fish market. It was an easy walk from the ship. The vegetation is lush everywhere and for the first time on the trip, rain fell off and on all day but with temperatures in the high eighties, it wasn’t a problem.