|Granted, these and bicycles are more common|
than cars and trucks on Maupiti.
“There are no cars on Maupiti,” my relatively recent LonelyPlanet guidebook claims. It’s incorrect unless trucks, the 4-wheelers of choice, don’t count as cars. It is true that overall Maupiti’s resisted large scale tourism, sticking to a few small, simple pensions scattered about the island and motus.
|Maupiti Heiva traditional Polynesian games: These guys|
line up with their spears, aiming with great concentration.
There is a post office, and airport, a ferry, several small grocery stores, some fruit stands and a once monthly morning visit from a bank which we discovered the afternoon they left. There is no ATM and for the most part credit cards are not accepted. We arrived like most cruisers on an expired visa and less than $20 in cash.
|The coconut on a pole they aim at in traditional Polynesian games is a |
tough target! This was a Maupiti Heiva event.
This year Maupiti’s pensions organized a big Heiva visitor’s welcome in the form of traditional crafts, games and a traditional Polynesian fire pit meal. The competitions included a good-natured rivalry between the pensions and the cruisers.
Maupiti Heiva fire pit oven just before it’s
unburied at Maupiti’s Heiva event.
We happened across the event on a cycle ride around the island. We dallied a while and to watch the banana bunch relay races, the coconut spearing competition and the unearthing of the fire pit meal.
|Maupiti Heiva Unearthing the oven pit…|
first dirt, then burlap, then banana leaves.
As we already partook in a traditional Polynesian meal with the Pacific Puddle Jump in Mo’orea at the Bali Hai we chose to save our last $20 for passage food though the Maupiti meal was less expensive and looked better than Bali Hai’s. Chow time was a good time for us to move on , though we heard the festivities were fun and lasted well into the evening.
|This cage of food was cooked in a fire pit|
at Maupiti’s Heiva event.
|Visiting kids check out the just emptied fire pit at|
the Maupiti Heiva event, a traditional Polynesian meal.
|Locals and visitors pitch in to serve up the just cooked fire pit|
meal — red bananas, breadfruit, roasted pork, and
tapioca mixed in coconut milk.
Cruiser Oliver of Inspirity was delighted. This was his fifth trip to Maupiti and the first time he was aware the island hosted this kind of event.
|Maupiti Heiva meal buffet line: red bananas, breadfruit,|
possion cru coco au lait, roasted pork, and tapioca
mixed in coconut milk.
|How we got around Maupiti when not|
walking, kayaking or taking our dinghy.