Why did the Crab Cross the Road?

As we were biking a few days ago we saw something which seemed a little unusual:  crab roadkill, a crab which had been perfectly smashed by a car on the road.  As the day wore on, we saw hundreds of crabs burrowing into the dirt next to the road, on the far side from the lagoon.  Our host informed us that the road gets quite covered with them just after the sun goes down.  Ray was walking his bike along this road after the flat tire incident and noticed that at every step, a couple of crabs would dart into their holes.  They respond to footsteps I think.  Cars and bicycles don’t trigger the same reaction to hide.  They are everywhere, at all times of day.  The ground is covered with crab holes, at least anywhere near the ocean.

We had the opportunity to consume two of these crabs yesterday, in wild ginger cream sauce, at a restaurant on Huahine Iti, the smaller of the two islands which make up Huahine.  The bike renter had just gotten ten brand new bikes, and we gave two of them a 25-mile maiden voyage, riding down to the bridge, riding all the way around the small island, stopping for lunch, and riding back.  There were no problems with flat tires or broken brakes, but the indexed shifters needed some adjustment — the gears kept popping back and forth.  the bikes cost him 26000 Pacific Francs, which is actually not bad for a bike that will last him two years and rent for 1500 XPF per day.

Huahine Iti is gorgeous.  We passed many houses on rather large lots with really beautiful landscaping.  Much of the beach wasn’t developed at all.  And on the east side there was a wide swath of the the most beautiful shade of aquamarine blue water just inside the reef, separated from the shore by some darker deeper water.  As we biked we got a whiff of someone drying large quantities of vanilla beans.

The other part of lunch was a ceviche sandwich, which the French call “poisson cru”.  It apparently is the Tahitian breakfast of choice.  The French eat croissants and bread and jam, of course.  The confiture at the restaurant “Mahi Mahi” is a demonstration of resourcefulness.  We asked the lady what was in it, and she said it was the pulp of all the fruits that she squeezed for the juice.  Meanwhile, that same juice reduced and with vanilla added was the puree for the fish the night before.

Today we’re being kicked out of our room at 10:00, and later in the afternoon we’ll leave this small-island paradise for a night in Papeete before we go find the boat we’ll be seeing the eclipse from (we hope) and living on for six days.