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Monday, January 2, 2017

HUAHINE

HUAHINE
FRENCH POLYNESIA

After Tahiti, Huahine (Wahine) was our second Island in the Society Islands to visit.  Not knowing much about the Island, we hired a tour guide to take us around the Island.  Lucky for us there was no other people on our tour so we had the Jeep and Guide to ourselves for the entire day.  Our Guide was from Franch and had lived on Huahine for eight years.  She was very knowledgable about the Island and spoke broken but good English.  Turns out her and her husband visited Huanhine from their homeland of France - fell in love with the place and stayed.  He is a French trained Chef cooking in a Bed and Breakfast and she does the tours and takes care of their two small children.  Life here is very simple and uncomplicated she told us.  No stress and plenty of family time.  Living here is basic with food from the sea and vegetables and fruit from the land.  Throughout our tour she would show us how local farmers live and work on their land so that they can provide food for their families.  The Island has an abundant array of fresh fruits and vegetables growing virtually everywhere.  Vanilla is also grown here and it has become vital to the Islands economy.  We visited a farm and learned how Vanilla is grown and harvested.  The highlight of our visit was unplanned for our Guide who took us to a restaurant/hotel on the beach which was supposed to be a stop for a drink only.  We offered to buy our Guide lunch here because it was so beautiful and she accepted.  The kitchen and restaurant seemed closed though so she went inside and found an employee and asked if we could have lunch.
The employee returned to our tables with menus and the rest of the day was pure heaven.  Relais Mahana Restaurant became one of the best stops on our entire French Polynesia trip.  This meal was one of the memory book.  Great food, incredible view and an experience I will never forget.  I had a similar lunch on the Island of Roatan many years ago but I think this even topped that great experience on the beach.  With my cold Hinano Beer in hand I went through the menu knowing I wanted nothing else but fresh fish from this Island.  I ordered the fresh fish with Sun Dried Tomatoes and an Olive Tempenade.  The fish was so fresh and delicious.  One of best ever.  Amazing.  My Daughter ordered the Fresh Poki and it was delivered in a wooden boat.  Looked amazing and tasted more amazing.  Hands down one of the best Poke's of our lives.  My Daughter devoured the entire boat with me getting a few bites in while she was distracted.  We ate a lot of fresh Poke and Sashimi in French Polynesia and this was by far the best.  Wow....I want some of that Poke right now.
The Fish and Chips with Fresh Fish, Calamari and Shrimp had the best batter ever.  So light but tasty allowing the flavor of the seafood to come through.  Probably some of the best Fish and Chips I have ever tasted.  This restaurant for us was a perfect 10.
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HUAHINE

OUR ARRIVAL IN HUAHINE
THE ISLAND OF HUAHINE IN FRENCH POLYNESIA
YOUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND OUTSIDE HUAHINE
SMALL HOUSE ON THIS BEAUTIFUL LITTLE ISLAND
APPROACHING HUAHINE ABOARD THE M/S PAUL GAUGUIN
PAUL GAUGUIN TENDER READY TO TAKE US ASHORE
ONCE ON LAND WE HAD A VIEW OF THE PAUL GAUGUIN
WE BOOKED AN ISLAND ECO TOUR AND WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED
HUAHINE IS LUSH AND TROPICAL
BANANA TREES ALL OVER HUAHINE
COCONUTS ARE THE BASE FOR MANY FOODS IN HUAHINE
 BREADFRUIT IS AN IMPORTANT CROP IN THE ISLANDS
HUAHINE IS UNSPOILED AND CLEAN
FARMING EVERYWHERE ON HUAHINE

VANILLA PLANTATION
AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO NOW GROW ON HUAHINE
VANILLA GROWS WITH COCONUT SHELLS AS THE BASE
VANILLA BEANS
VANILLA PLANT
ANOTHER LOCAL FRUIT
HOMES ON HUAHINE ARE SIMPLE


RELAIS MAHANA RESTAURANT AND HOTEL
ENTER HERE TO FIND PARADISE
DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS
THE VIEW FROM OUR TABLE WAS AMAZING
A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN IN HUAHINE
PRISTINE OCEAN BEFORE US
YOUR OWN PRIVATE BEACH
LUNCH HERE WAS AMAZING!
THE VIEWS WERE INCREDIBLE
YOU CAN RENT A BUNGALOW ON THE BEACH HERE
JUST GOTTA TAKE A SWIM
HOUSE BOAT ANCHORED OFF THE BEACH
THE RELAIS MAHANA RESTAURANT 
A COLD LOCAL BEER 
RELAIS MAHANA MENU
FRESH FISH IS KING HERE AND IT SHOULD BE



THE BEST POKE EVER!
I CRAVE THIS POKE EVERY DAY SINCE THIS TRIP
PANINI
LOCAL FISH
FISH, SHRIMP AND CALAMARI








BACK TO THE DOCK WHERE WE BOARDED THIS FREE SHUTTLE BUS TO DOWNTOWN HUAHINE
THIS IS IT - DOWNTOWN HUAHINE
A FEW SMALL SHOPS, MARKET AND FOOD STANDS
THE ISLAND OF HUAHINE
HAD TO STOP AND CHECK OUT THE HUAHINE YACHT CLUB
SMALL BAR AND RESTAURANT
OUTDOOR SEATING WITH GREAT VIEWS OF OCEAN
THE PAUL GAUGUIN IN THE DISTANCE
WAITING FOR OUR TENDER
TENDER ARRIVES TO TAKE US BACK ABOARD THE PAUL GAUGUIN
LEAVING HUAHINE






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