Published: April 30th 2007April 30th 2007
One night on Tahiti
The first impression you will get when you land in Tahiti is how French the place looks - all the roads signs, people walking around with french baguettes and creperies. The second thing you will notice is the very French reception you will get from everyone on the islands. I am not talking kisses on the cheeks but rather frosty "why are you bothering me?" responses. Still paradise is paradise and nothing can spoil a stay in French Polynesia. We were lucky to again be meeting up with people from home.
We were only spending one night on Tahiti and we had heard very poor reviews of the cheap hostels in Papeete and that it is best to sleep rough at the airport. Despite these warnings we rang Teamo Pension and eventually arranged a pick up from the airport (at a cost). We were told that they didn't have a double room but they had put some beds on the veranda and we could sleep there. Sounded bad, but in fact they had rigged up a mossie net and we enjoyed a airy night out in the open and were only woken up in
After 7 months of brain rest the concept of the International Date Line was far too much to comprehend. We arrived a day earlier than Antony and Tomi expected.
the morning by the sound of French chatter and baguettes being cut for breakfast. So, fortunately, the hostel did not live up to its reputation and we were soon bidding au revoir and walking to the ferry port to hop to Moorea. We later met a local who used to work for the hostel and left on bitter terms. I won't repeat what the guy called the owner but he used a number of colourful adjectives and nouns to descibe what he thought of the hostel owners. Slightly shocked we promised not to stay there again and he even asked to mention it in our blog….done.
Movin’ onto Moorea
After a very smooth ferry ride we jumped of the ferry grabbed our bags only to turn around to see the bus leaving the port. The next bus would be 3 hours time. We asked two taxis and one would not take us as it was too far - slightly surprising as the island is about 20km wide! The other taxi driver quoted 15 times the price of the bus, so we spent our first few hours on tropical paradise sat in the secluded port eating and drinking.
Day or night, this airport trio welcomes people to the island
We finally reached the Hisbiscus Hotel where Antony (Pete's brother) and Tomi (his wife) were staying. Several confused seconds after Tomi answered the door she recognised Pete. They were expecting us the next day so I guess we weren't the only ones confused by the nearby Internacional Date Line.
We were staying at Camping Nelson just a minute´s walk along the beach, perfect. Again we received a bizaar welcome from the owner who seemed quite offended that people had turned up to pay her money to stay. Just the usual welcome here.
As soon as we could we put on our swimmers and jumped into the sea. Not that refreshing as the temperature of the water resembled bath water later in the day. It was wonderfully clear and we only had to step one foot in the water to spot tropical fish. We had been carrying our snorkel and mask all the way from Thailand just for these few days and it was totally worth it. Antony and Tomi had started their PADI diving training here in the perfect water. Unfortunately Antony’s diving was put on hold as an ear infection stopped his dive only 3 metres down.
Surely the best place in the world to catch up
We were all praying that the antibiotics, steriods and frisbee sized paracetamol tablets would cure everything within a few days for him to carry on.
Morays, Rays, Raw Tuna and Tahiti Drink
Ang’s underwater camera really proved its worth here and the selection of photos here is only a fraction of the photos taken and that is not even including the videos she shot as well. Anyone game enough to come round to our house for a photo evening when we get back may be in for the full show! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. However her underwater collection is a lot more intersting than Pete’s similarly numerous collection of photos of Ayers rock. Arrrgh, noone is going to visit us ever again. Perhaps we could offer insomniacs a service.
Anyway, back to Moorea - lots of snorkelling, kayaking, walking through pineapple fields and monster crab spotting. The place is heaven on earth and we have been to a few different snorkelling places, but this one is the best. Taking bread into the sea the fish flock around you and even when the bread is gone they will follow you around the sea like the Pied Piper of
Hamlyn. Thankfully this really only applied to the cute tropical fish and not the scary Moray Eels. We even spotted a few rays cruising past us when we were kayaking but fortunately no Steve Irwin moments.
On our third day there Antony nervously headed off for second PADI dive and the moment of truth to find out if his cocktail of drugs had works wonders in his inner ear. We nervously waited his return and after several hours he returned after completing a 12m dive with no problems.
The cost of living on Tahiti is pretty high so we ate most nights in Antony and Tomi’s cabin (rather than at our camp kitchen). The local speciality is a raw tuna dish with coconut milk, lime and tomato otherwise known as thun en cru. The local shop sold the tuna and was very tasty. Even better, they told us when the tuna was not quite fresh enough that it should be cooked first. The other great discovery was that of Tahiti Drink which Ang took a strong liking to (a rum and fruit juice blend which came in milk cartons).
Our four days on Moorea were very quickly
Ang, Tomi and Antony
The sea was too inviting to spend all our time paddling the kayaks
gone and we boarded the ferry back to Tahiti to head to the airport. It was great and slightly unbelievable to meet up with Antony and Tomi on possibly the furthest away island we could find from home. They were lucky to be spending a few more days on Tahiti to carry on diving. However, we certainly could not complain as we were heading to Easter Island………
There are more photos below