I am not going to write about the things that I don’t like about Papeete, because you can find them in almost every cruising blog. There is noise and traffic and the prices are not even funny.
So let’s talk about pearls.
The best place to buy pearls for poor cruisers are the Tuamotus or even better the Gambiers, where the prices are quite lower than Papeete.
BUT all the best pearls are not sold there, they are shipped to the expensive boutiques in Tahiti.
So if you want to SEE the best pearls without necessarily buying them, then you have to have a walk on the Boulevard Pomare, the main street in Papeete. Every second door is a pearl shop and one collection is more beautiful than the other.
The black pearls are actually not black, but of a range of colors, from purple to blue to green, cream, brown and grey. They can be round or half-round, or have the shape of a tear or of a button… They differ in shape, colour, shine, size and of course… price.
I had to go in town on my own, because Rick was getting REALLY bored of stopping at every window with a pearl in display (knowing that I am not going to buy any anyway, I bought mine in Kauehi from a pearl farmer, but they are a different category of course…). So I took my time and had my “pearl overdose” day which included the visit to the Black Pearl Museum. Here are some pictures…