We just arrived in Papeete, Tahiti today and are tied bow-in to the downtown quay. We’re still rubbing our eyes, can’t believe we are really here. For some reason, arriving here on this iconic island on our own sailing boat makes the whole trip seem kind of shocking, in a good way of course. Tahiti is one place we’ve always wanted to go but never really thought we’d see. And now we are here taking in this lovely exotic city nestled on this mountainous green island, which appeared on the horizon this morning like a mirage.
On our two-night passage across from Fakarava, I made a list of things we needed to get and do during our time in Tahiti. I hear there are supermarkets here. I haven’t stepped inside a market bigger than a 7-11 in three months, since March. Food, we do need. Particularly Nutella. We are plumb out of Nutella. And vegetables of course. I’m craving a green salad the size of a turkey platter.
I tried to remember the other things that passed through our minds in the last few months, things we wanted to get when we had access to stores (and indeed, there do seem to be a lot of shopping opportunities here). I wrote down: “fill water tanks, get diesel, propane?”. I couldn’t remember what else it was that we wanted to buy when we next had the chance. Which was weird, because a hundred or two things have crossed my mind these past few months. An iPad would be nice. But not really something we need. We’re getting by with our quirky old PCs for now. The girls’ Crocs are holding up just fine, no one has lost their hat yet.
I really couldn’t think of anything else we really wanted to buy while we are here. Even the boat seems to have all her needs met at the moment (though there are a thousand things we’d like to do to improve her). The girls have plenty of clothes and toys and books (in fact we need to shed some of the outgrown ones).
It’s amazing, really, how easily our needs have been met, as we’ve traveled on our small boat over this past year. We swing, mostly, on our own anchor and chain, catch sun for power and rainwater for washing. Our wardrobes are simple: swimsuits at the beach, underwear when it’s just us onboard, shorts and t-shirts for when guests come over or we head into town. We always have enough food, although it’s certainly not fancy. Even in Fakarava we came across a box of new crop New Zealand apples for sale. They were the best apples we’ve ever had. Everyday we eat a bit of bread, some protein, something that’s come straight from the earth. A bit of dessert too keeps the crew happy.
Now we find coming to our first city since Cabo San Lucas, where we could likely get anything we wanted that our wants have gradually diminished when we truly have all we need.