|There is a low system covering the Islands and this has given us some really rough weather for the past week and as we approached Rarotonga it was too rough to tender in. This means we have been eight days on board and unable to go ashore to send emails etc.
Finally we tied up at Raiatea the second largest island of the Society Islands after Tahiti.
We did a jeep tour around the Island with 6 others from the ship. The highlight here is the Taputapuatea Marae. This is the second most important archeological location in all of Polynesia behind only Easter Island.
The chiefs vying for supremacy mixed religion and politics to create Oro, the ferocious god of war and fertility. The Tamtoas chiefs, who built the Marae, were on the verge of conquering all of the Society Islands when the missionaries arrived in 1797. The Marea were left in ruin and Pomare I became king of Tahiti.
There are rumours of human sacrifices to Oro because human bones were found under some of the structures. The entire complex is in a coconut grove on the shore of the lagoon. A beautiful location.
Despite a wet day on and off it felt good to be on land and on the move again.
Raiatea was the great jumping off point for the Polynesian mariners heading for Hawaii.
We also visited a vanilla farm with an explanation of what it takes to get the vanilla to market. It is a very lengthy process which explains why it is so expensive. And of course we had to visit a pearl farm. Black pearls abound here. May have to be tempted at some point.
We made it back to the ship for a lovely cup of tea and cake and scones.