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Tapuamu and PariPari
On this second trial to stay in Tapuamu, we found the place almost empty, rather than the 14 boats that filled the small bay the previous trip here. Relief! Here are some photos of our time in Tapuamu.
This is Taporo VI, the red supply vessel that re-stocks this area. There's a blue vessel as well. With Taporo just offloading, we knew that we'd have a good chance of finding the groceries that we needed.
Cool Whip? Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Whatever. Here's one of the coolers that hold the frozen products that locals want to buy.
This is the Pari Pari distillery, producers of the finest rhum agricole we know. Rhum agricole is made with cane syrup rather than molasses, from which most rums are made. It's a tiny distillery but by dint of effort and talent, they've become very well known.
Pari Pari is dedicated to making rhum the traditional way, using an almost extinct ancient sugar cane variety named, Old Tahiti. They pay the local farmers top dollar (well, top Franc) for growing it, and it's all grown without pesticides or fertilizer: totally organically.
Step one is to crush the incoming cane and collect the juice. This motorized conveyor belt drags the crushed cane to a pile that's then distributed to the growers to use as fertilizer. The owner seems dedicated to sustainable agriculture and hires only locals.
Here are the barrels used to age the distilled rhum.
These plastic drums hold the raw sugar cane juice during fermentation. The juice ferments to 8-10 proof in only 7-10 days. It's open air ferment with no added yeast! One can't get more traditional than that. The guide is explaining the process to Conni.
This is a photo taken down into the cane juice as it froths with CO2 bubbles from fermentation. It doesn't look appetizing now, but it makes great rhum!
Pari Pari has been so successful that silver rhum, with minimum aging, is all that they had to sell! The darker rhum at right is a passion fruit rhum which has passion fruit syrup added. The silver is available in both 40 and 50 proof. The 40-proof that we bought is simply superb. It's no wonder that they've become famous. They've won gold medals in several international competitions and sell their cane juice to other producers so that the local farmers always have a market. We appreciate and support the owner's attitude.
They sell other products based on local materials, including some excellent coconut-based skin creams and insect repellent. They also sell many products made by locals.
This is part of the open air workroom. There are bags of coconuts, and various tools used to produce their product line.
To remove the coconut meat from the shells, they split the coconut and use this rotating burr to grind it out. The metal shield seems to be made for this use, so perhaps it's not as homemade as it appears.
The still itself, is the heart of the operation. It's tiny, made in Germany we were told, and limits production. It is a lovely piece of work, though. Casks await filling behind.
Yes, silly perhaps, but I thought it a clever sign.
One of the many coconut trees on the property. Coconut trees are my favorite trees out here. They produce shade, food, and water, and the do it beautifully.
These are vanilla flowers growing on a vine.
And these are the beans growing after the flower is fertilized BY HAND.
This is the Pari Pari dock, with our dinghy tied up at left. Wings is on a mooring just behind the catamaran. Cleverly, the Pari Pair owner wants to make it easy to visit by water.
Les Gendarmerie Maritime, or the maritime police. We've never seen a vessel like this, but we saw it several times this trip.
Bora Bora at sunset from Wings' cockpit is a lovely sight, and unmistakable. The boats at right are anchored on the reef near the expensive resort at center. A Conni photo.
Derelict photobombs the boat!
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