90% of the world’s vanilla comes from the South Pacific, and we were lucky enough to sail to the island of Tahaa which produces three quarters of the Polynesian production.
Noah guided us round the island, showing us the flora and fauna of where he was born and brought up. We learnt about the lengthy process for growing, harvesting, fermenting and drying vanilla. We even got to pollinate the vanilla flower, something which took the west 300 years to work out!
We bought mangoes, ranbutan, and pamplemousse from roadside stalls and ate bananas, star fruit and coconuts from the trees we passed.
We learnt about the medicinal properties of tamuru and sugarcane and saw the Pari Pari rum distillery in action.
We even broke down when Noah accidentally drove a wheel off the track up the mountain, but by the time we’d eaten our picnic lunch and walked the remains of the way up the hill to the viewpoint, he had roped in some friends to pull us out and get us on our way.
A great tour and loads of fun, wonderful to see the islands lush interior.