My Birding Blogs

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tahiti Trip 2007 - Day 9 - Fri 09 Aug 2007 Papeete, Papenoo Valley, Airport

Today is our last day in French Polynesia. After some arrangement with my wife, I had decided to visit Papenoo Valley again by myself, hoping to see more of the Tahiti Reed Warbler in one last try. Well I did finally saw the dark brown morph of the Reed Warbler singing non-melodiously at the vintage point from a tall bamboo branch at Km 9 inland but this bird was even more skittish and it vanished into the thicks of the bamboo and stopped calling as soon as it found out that I was watching it. Other birds seen is the same as those seen the day before with additonal one Gray-green Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus purpuratus) and an Indian Mynah. Driving for 1.5 hours one way just to see one single bird plus a few other feral birds may sound too unproductive but sometimes it is still better than not to see the target bird at all.
Gray-green Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus purpuratus) Papenoo Valley, Tahiti.

The rest of the day was driving around in the city while my wife did her spa treatment at the resort.
I stopped by a large chinese temple in the northern edge of the Papeete town, close to hospital, along Ave George Clemenceau. This is a large chinese temple, considering there are only about 5% of chinese descendants in Tahiti and many of them have adopted christianity and become assimilated with the local society.

Chinese Temple in Papatee, Tahiti

We were offered late checkout without penalty. Also I got the resort management's permission to take some last shots of the Tahitian dance in that Friday evening. After checking out at 9pm, we went to the resort bar where there was a live band on Friday. This was really a good spot to wrap up our eventful and well planned 8-night-stay in French Polynesia. With lovely and exotic live band mostly in French and Tahitian songs, as well as a good dancing crowd of mostly locals on the dance floor, why not join the crowds and we had the nicest dance of all time, despite we appeared to be the most awkward couple on the dance floor as the local dancers must have come to dance every weekend. After finishing up our non-alcoholic cocktails at 10.30pm, we drove slowly to the air port and were cautious of many motorbikes on Friday night. The route and the suburbs on the way to the Airport somehow looked eerily dark and quiet and we thought that we had travelled the wrong route. We parked our rented car at the designated car park zone and dropped the key to the designated drawer. Our car was the dustiest of all among all other returned rented cars, thanks to my two trips to Papenoo valley. We had the courtesy to splash it with some water and wiped it briefly although a passer by just told us to leave the car alone.
The airport check-in process was slow that lasted through mid night. Strangely that a souvenir shop at the departure hall still opened until 2am, allowing for anyone who want to get rid of their remaining local currency.