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Fine Art Travel Photography

Exotic Tropical Accommodations Image

Tree House "Fare" on Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia

This exotic yet luxurious hideaway accommodation (known at the Hana Iti Resort as a "fare") constructed of outer walls completely open to the trade winds was nearly 2,000 sq ft of tree house built in a giant tree (including a stand-alone jacuzzi in the tree-- not for the faint of heart) in the unspoiled indigenous flora of Huahine Island using only local building materials and techniques!

Treehouse on Huahine

A Lorcán adventurous and historical footnote: Perhaps the most luxurious and authentic tropical tree house on the planet in which to fulfill a Tarzan fantasy - or any other vacation dream! In fact, this entire resort was booked by "The Supremes" lead singer Diana Ross to celebrate her 50th birthday with friends from around the world.

But things soon took a turn for the worse - much worse - within days of his departure. Lorcán's trip from Hana Iti to Papeete on the island of Tahiti was interrupted and delayed by an anti-nuclear protest which had virtually brought the capital city of French Polynesia to a stand still. Upon arrival at the Hyatt Regency Tahiti on the outskirts of Papeete he was informed that due to the worsening protest situation, in order to leave the island and make it to the international airport just a 20 minute drive away, for a 9:30am flight the following morning, the shuttle would be leaving at 4:30am. They indeed encountered the barricades on the east edge of town which blocked the two highways through Papeete during the wee hours of the next morning where they were dropped off and instructed to carry their luggage across town on foot until they reached the barrier on the opposite side of town where a shuttle would be waiting to transport them to a dock where a boat would convey them to a location where they could then be transported to the airport!

Left with no alternative but to return to the resort and be stranded in paradise indefinitely (which was almost an irresistible temptation) they hefted their luggage for the arduous trudge across town. There was heavy construction equipment, large trucks, and all manner of hastily assembled rubble as barriers to the thoroughfares across the city; with hundreds of protesters sleeping in the streets along their route. Nevertheless, and in spite of the mêlée to come, they were approached only once by some protesters who asked them in French what nationality they were. Lorcán answered, "nous sommes Américaine." Perhaps his American accent supported his claim because the reply of, "ce qui est bon pour vous," (that's good for you) preceded the protester's peaceful retreat. To their relief the shuttle was indeed at the western barricade which took them to the boat and to their eventual safe departure!

Just three days later the French government detonated a nuclear bomb test under the nearby atoll of Mururoa in French Polynesia which incited the protesters to a riot lasting two days causing damage estimated in the millions of dollars, forced the closure of the international airport for several weeks after it was laid seige to, then torched after a battle between the police and protesters who broke down security fences, ran onto the runway and damaged a French airliner in a violent clash with riot police as passengers were boarding, injured 40 people, and scared away tourism for years that forever changed the fate of this idyllic resort as the following report from reports.

HANA ITI Dream Resort Faces Reality: "...But the dream began to unravel when the French tested its last nuclear bombs (far away [750 miles southeast of Tahiti] on a small Territorial atoll) and hospitality occupancies nose-dived throughout the Territory due to global boycotts of all things French. It sent Hana Iti, French Polynesia's newest upscale resort, on its downward spiral. Occupancies, posted at nearly 80%, dropped in half overnight. ..."

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