Published: April 3rd 2008March 28th 2008
Lookout point on Moorea
Too much to capture in a picture, but it was a beautiful sight with the mountains on the left and two bays to look at toward the sea.
Although we were disappointed to say goodbye to Bora Bora, we knew that we still had two more days to enjoy French Polynesia. We left Bora Bora in the morning of the 24th, and arrived at the Tahiti airport by 10:00 am.
Given the time of day we quickly decided to ditch our gear in a hostel and head over to Moorea. Across the street from the airport is the Hostel Fifi (which is very reasonable on its dorm rates...but pretty high for what you get on its more private doubles...like shared bathrooms) and had our first experience with Tahitian public transit.
We waited for the so-called "bus" just a few steps from Hostel Fifi. It wasn't any bus you have experienced -- it was a flatbed truck with a built-on compartment for people. They have two parallel benches under the compartment cover for its patrons to sit on...hard to describe...but very functional -- and CHEAP!!!! At least one thing in Tahiti was a bargain.
We got dropped off at the public dock and were ready to catch the ferry over to Moorea by noon...but a Pacific Northwest neighbor was in Port. That's right, Paul Allen had his
Mountains of Moorea
Just another view at the lookout point in Moorea
super yacht "Octopus" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus_(yacht)/
in Port...and WOW...very impressive. We tried to stop by just to say hi...but security clearly did not understand just who we were, and denied us entry to see Paul. I threw my name around....but clearly the security was a local Tahitian and did not understand.
There was actually another super yacht in port: "Ice" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_(yacht)/
which was also unbelievably beautiful. We decided we'd be happy to cruise around on either.
After a quick 30 minute ferry ride we landed in Moorea. We rented a car and made it around the island in about two hours. We got caught in a rain storm and unfortunatley Easter Monday is a holiday in French Polynesia..nothing was open! We finally found a little plastic-stool-type-place to stop for lunch on the side of the road. The problem was that we didn't speak french..and the owner didnt speak english...and the menus were in french ONLY.
Needless to say we had two American hamburgers (with fries) and a couple of Coca-colas.
Moorea is an amazing place...the island is not big, but the scenery is stunning!!! It is one of the most cost effective places to get to in Tahiti
Views back to Tahiti
It was pretty windy, but the view back to Tahiti was great.
and you will get your money's worth. The mountains and the bays are truly beautiful.
We made our way back to Tahiti and Papeete where we had a casual dinner and sat around the wonderful touristy dock area for awhile.
As it was getting late we decided to make our way back to our little hostel near the airport. Problem was that we couldn't find any public transport at that time of night, so we started walking expecting a bus to come by. It didn't. So after a long walk we were clearly out of the tourist area and we were now in the more "industrial" part of Papeete. The streets were more than just a little dodgy, very dark, and lets just say that those on the street weren't "tourist friendly" at least they didn't look that way in the dark. Given our french language skills we didn't feel quite up to asking for local transport info. We then saw a bus go by on the next street up, so we dashed across the road and up the block...just in time to see a bus go by on the first street. At this time Jessica and
I had a difference of opinion: she wanted to keep walking, and I wanted to stay right there and wait for a taxi, bus, or police officer...whatever. See my life had been threatened by numerous members of the Johnson clan concerning Jessica's safety on this trip...well and you know Myrtle Creek people.....enough said, we stayed put.
Finally a bus came and we took it back to the hostel. We made our way back up the street as we saw street food being grilled over an open fire two blocks up. Everyody knows what a great deal street BBQ is all over the world! Well, not in Tahiti...try $10 for a piece of meat on a stick. So we went to the Shell gas station and got an ice cream.
Hostel Fifi was not comfortable, but it was a bed and a room ( if you are looking for a cheap place try their dorm, great deal, if you are looking for privacy go to the Airport Motel next door). We got up early, had breakfast and went down to the airport to get our rental car. We toured all around Tahiti that day. We saw so many amazing
Rugged Mtns of Tahiti
We found a dirt road through the center of Tahiti that lead us through some beautiful, but rough scenery before we headed back to pavement.
places I won't describe...I will just up-load some pictures. I know alot of people skip Tahiti on their way to some other island...but take the time to rent a car and take a tour...well worth the day!
We dropped off our rental car at around 10:00pm that night...and got ready to catch our plane to Sydney, Australia. Our next two weeks are in Australia...a part of our trip that we are truly looking forward to!
There are more photos below