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polytrad Papeete - A travel report by Bertrand
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Papeete,  French Polynesia - flag French Polynesia
2969 readers

polytrad's travel reports

French Polynesia, the confiscated power

  19 votes
In May 2003, the local Assembly was dissolved in the wake of a change in the Statutory Law governing the relationship between F.P. and the central government. The electoral law had been amended to give Mr Flosse a much bigger majority.


Anti-Flosse and pro-UPLD demonstrators in the Government Palace garden (Nov 11, 2004)
Anti-Flosse and pro-UPLD demonstrators in the Government Palace garden (Nov 11, 2004)
French Polynesia, along with New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna, are the only French dependencies in the Pacific and the only islands and archipelagoes where the official language is French. French Polynesia is a self-governed territory whose chief of state is the French President. The country is ruled by a local government headed by a President whose role is more of a Prime Minister's. The current president, Mr Gaston Flosse had lost the territorial elections on May 23rd, 2004 and Mr Oscar Temaru, mayor of Faa'a, the most populated district in FP, and leader of the Tavini Huira'atira (the liberation front movement advocating for independance and breakaway from France) took over from G. Flosse at the head of a coalition called UPLD (Union for the Democracy). But a few weeks later, on October 9th, Mr Oscar Temaru was ousted by a vote of no-confidence initiated by Mr Flosse and supported by the French Government. Mr Temaru challenged the validity of this vote and asked the French Government for a full assembly dissolution and he and his former government decided to occupy various government buildings among which the presidency palace. Oscar Temaru received strong support from the population. The opposite photo was taken one month later on Remembrance Day (nov 11th) at the gate of the Presidency Palace. The UPLD supporters wave white and blue flags defaced with 5 golden stars. The official flag is of a white and red colour with a styliszed twin-hull voyaging canoe reminiscent of the Polynesian ancestors who sailed across the widest ocean in their quest for new lands to be settled.

Favourite spots:
There are lots of magnificent spots in French Polynesia. American people mostly give preference to the islands of Bora Bora and Moorea, the latter being bestowed the name of French Polynesia garden island. But there are lots of little known places on Tahiti island.

What's really great:
Miss Heiva, Miss Tahiti Nui and Miss Tahiti 2002 at the Marae Arahurahu pageant
Miss Heiva, Miss Tahiti Nui and Miss Tahiti 2002 at the Marae Arahurahu pageant
I cannot speak at the past tense as I am a resident in F.P. So I have to use the present tense to account for my preferences. What is most special in F.P. is the famous kindness of the Polynesian people who are welcoming every people wherever they come from. Of course, their cultural customs are among the most interesting features to be discovered in this country (dancing, art and craft, beauty contests, etc...). Apart from the interest vested in these customs, all the Polynesian shows prove very colorful.


Sights:
Rainbow across the Vaihiria Valley
Rainbow across the Vaihiria Valley
In Tahiti, the best spots to visit are the Te Faarumai Valley and Waterfalls which are likely to take you back to the hold Tahitian way of life. The surroundings are a wild tropical nature where lush vegetation and water are dominating. Another spot is the Taravao Plateau. It provides nice sight down to the Isthmus that separates Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti) from Tahiti Nui (Big Tahiti) and to the lagoon encompassed by its barrier reef. Also allow one full day to visit the two museums (Tahiti and its islands in Punaauia and Paul Gauguin's museum and memorial in Papeari) and the Botanical Garden ( a precious garden the community owes to Mr Harrison Smith, a former profesor at the MIT in Boston who ended up his life in Tahiti).

Accommodations:
Sheraton- Tahiti Hotel at Papeete
Sheraton- Tahiti Hotel at Papeete

In French Polynesia, most of the hotels are luxury 6 o 5 * units belonging to International chains such as Beachcomber, Sofitel, Méridien, Sheraton and Radisson and as a consequence accomodation is very expensive as is everything you may buy in this country.
The least expensive accomodation and also the most convivial one is what the local people call Utua Fare, which are family residential structures, some kind of Polynesian-styled Bed and Breakfast. There are heaps of these utua fare in the outer islands mainly but they are developing quite steadily on Tahiti itself.


Published on Sunday January 2th, 2005


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Tue, Jan 04 2005 - 08:30 AM rating by britman

A great first report Bert - well done. Loved the pictures and I agree with Misty - the rainbow shot is perfect!

Mon, Jan 03 2005 - 10:50 PM rating by mistybleu

Nice report, I really liked the picture of the rainbow - way cool!

Misty ((*_*))

Mon, Jan 03 2005 - 08:39 AM rating by rangutan

Great, bit political though...

Mon, Jan 03 2005 - 05:34 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report

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