Papeete, Roulottes, and the Quay

by Drew on April 18, 2009

Back in Tahiti now, I spent last night at the Quay (the main dock area in downtown).  I don’t mind being down here all that much.  A lot of other sailors hate it.  It does get hot and you can’t swim but at least stores and repairs facilities are in walking distance.  And the roulottes at night are a big plus.  A roulotte is a mobile food van.  Every evening at dusk, a bunch of these things converge on the main square at the head of the cruise ship docks.   Maybe 15-20 different vans set up open air restaurants with plastic tables and stools and the place gets packed with locals and tourists.  They serve all kinds of different cuisine from pizza to Chinese to salted crepes.  Roulottes are the only places to grab quality food in these islands on a budget.  I’m putting together a little youtube thing about them.  I hope to have it up soon.

The reason I came down here was to work on the outboard engine for the dinghy in a place with a hose and access to some parts.  Also, the port captains don’t really care about charging you if you’re only staying a night.  I came here believing that the carb on the outboard needed cleaning (which it did). I’ve been cleaning all day and the thing still won’t start. I think I might have water in the gas I got on Raiatea. If it turns out to be that simple, gas quality could also explain why I can’t get my little honda generator running.   One can only hope.   Looks like I
have to send the Katadyn Powersurvivor Watermaker back to Minnesota or somewhere for repair.   I’m positive the problem will end up being something stupid that I either messed up or missed in all my repair attempts.  I’ll pay a ton in shipping.  No, it’s not the best attitude to have but sometimes, living on a boat, I feel like buying one of these stickers and slapping it right on the transom.
This afternoon, I’m getting out of here regardless of what’s fixed.  It’ll be the weekend and most of the stores close anyways so the appeal of being “in the middle of it all” disappears.   I want to be somewhere I can swim and that certainly isn’t here in the middle of Papeete harbor.  I also think it’d be best to save some cash before Margie gets here.   I’ll head to the westside for the next few days.

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