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Published: February 26th 2008
View from the aeroplane as we left Papeete for Huahine.
As the plane began its descent into Tahiti we caught a glimpse of what was in store for us as we flew past the neighbouring island of Moorea, with its lush green jagged mountains rising from the surrounding turquoise sea.
Once on the ground we were given a native flower which we duly tucked behind our ears, before smugly cutting the queue and going through the EU channel, as it is effectively France. We then had to figure out how to get to our hotel. After a chat with a very helpful and extremely camp information dude who told us that the local taxis have the nerve to charge per preson and per bag, we decided to go in search of a bus.
Everything is mega expensive in Tahiti so we thought we may as well stay somewhere nice. There´s something quite satisfying about arriving at a posh hotel on the back of a truck armed with backpacks.
We only had 2 nights in our posh hotel so we took full advantage of our one full day (our time travelling extra day, having left New Zealand the day after we arrived!) swimming in the infinity pool, eating, and
The local dogs were viscous little things.
watching the traditional polynesian dancers kitted out in their grass skirts.
Andy decided to shave his substantial beard off, and treated Laura to a full range of future beard possibilities. See the photos and cast your vote for your favourite....although Laura retains the power of veto.
We begrudgingly said goodbye to our super nice room and caught the bus back to the airport for our flight to Huahine, where we would be for 10 days. Ahhh, 10 days without having to drive anywhere...fantastic.
Having been put on an earlier flight than expected we arrived an hour early for our pick up. This is where our experience of the true local Polynesian people began. Having been warned by various people that the Polynesians were French, and acted like it, we were quite taken aback when a lady at the airport, having seen us loitering and looking a bit lost, asked us where we were staying and then rang them for us to get them to come and pick us up. She explained that the man coming to get us did not speak English and that he would give us a tour of the town, Fare, before going to
The sunsets were fairly ordinary!
our Pension (bungalow). A truck pulled up and Andy was directed to keep the bags company in the back. Laura, being a lady, got to sit up front. Having tentatively offered to the driver that she could speak a bit of French, well, he was away, and didn't stop talking for the whole journey. He very proudly drove us through Fare, which took about a minute, and Laura grabbed the basics of where the supermarket, post office and restaurant (yep, just the one!) were.
Emma - we reckon you could set up a cracking business on the island as a vet. There's dogs, cats and chickens everywhere, and a bit of snippage action certainly wouldn't go amiss. Incidentally, it's probably the only place we've ever seen crabs (and bloomin' big ones at that!) as roadkill!
We found the warm, clear lagoon and spent most of our time snorkelling (oh, and occassionally being attacked by a very cute puppy). There were loads of fantastically coloured fish, and even the coral had retained its colour which was good to see.
Having eaten baguettes and jam for breakfast, had baguette sandwiches for lunch, and got free sliced baguette starter at
View out over the east of the island
dinner we were a bit baguetted out , but the fresh fish more than made up for it....mmmm...tuna steak. We even braved the 'roulettes' (little vans on the quayside where all the locals eat), and were pleasantly surprised not to be taken ill.
We also cycled across the island (about 4 miles one way) to find another fantastic snorkelling spot called La Cite De Coraeil, that more than lived up to its name. We hired a car another day and toured the whole island but ended up back at this spot.
Our Pension was pretty simple (no air con!) and whilst we did have a TV, the only channel in English was CNN. This we became strangely addicted to and are now full news junkies, being particularly well informed on the American elections. Bring on any questions relating to caucuses, super delegates or even Obamacans! Our room also came equipped with an ingenious device which makes killing mozzies a full time pursuit - an electrified tennis raquet that sparks, crackles and even smokes on contact with a wee beastie. Andy is now a mozzie tennis pro.
When it was time to leave Andy managed to persuade the
Laura attracting the attention of a school of black fish
security man to reluctantly stamp our passports. We simply couldn't come back without a Tahiti stamp - it just wouldn't be right!
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