Blogs from French Polynesia, Oceania


Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti September 23rd 2023

For those of you that know us, you are familiar with how we travel and why I select certain places over others at particular times. It's all about the points, miles and free travel because we surely can't afford travel like we do on our public safety salaries alone. Of course Tahiti has always been on our travel bucket list, but it quickly rose to #1 when I scored a 48 hr flash sale on United for about half the miles it would ordinarily cost (approximately 1 credit card sign-up bonus for two round-trip tickets). Tahiti, or more aptly called French Polynesia for it's collection of 118 islands and not just the one largest island of Tahiti, has enticed me not for the $2k a night over the water bungalows but rather one of the few ... read more
My kind of day at the office

Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti » Papeete June 18th 2023

It seems we’re not staying in the quietest part of town. It’s 6am on what is now Sunday morning when music starts blaring through the window with enough volume to wake the dead. At least now we don’t need to worry about the alarm not going off. Today we’ve signed up for a tour across the island. We did something similar when we were here in 2014, and Issy’s decided against a repeat leaving Scott and I to head off on our own. We pass Papeete’s central market where Sunday morning produce shopping’s in full swing - the whole place is bursting at the seams. We hope we manage to survive the day. We contacted several tour companies before finding this one, and all said that they’d stopped doing Sunday tours. And why - well too ... read more
The road down the other side
Transport for the day
Lunch stop, Tahiti interior

Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti » Papeete June 17th 2023

Today we head back across to Tahiti, the main reason for this being a tour into the island’s interior which we’ve got planned for tomorrow. We’re very sad to be leaving our relaxing bungalow on the shores of the Moorea lagoon. But first the hazards of check out. The delightful young French girl who’s job it is to shepherd us out of our lodgings knows how to say “check out”, but that seems to be about where her English stops … and our French … well “bonjour”’s about it. We got the accommodation to book us a taxi to the ferry terminal, but we still don’t know when or if it’s coming or how we’re supposed to pay for it, and no amount of talking slowly and hand gesturing seem to be getting the questions across. ... read more
Papeete waterfront
Papeete waterfront
Papeete waterfront

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 15th 2023

This might be our last post. As we sit quietly on our little deck munching away on our cereal it’s a bit hard not to notice a guy marching around the garden with a serious looking tank on his back, spraying anything that looks like it might be even vaguely green. This wouldn’t normally be worthy of comment, but he’s wearing a suit that wouldn’t look out of place on an astronaut, so we’re starting to suspect that whatever’s in the tank, it’s probably not going to do much to improve your day if you happen to breathe any of it in. The breeze springs up and it’s now wafting in our direction, so we beat a rapid retreat inside and seal up all the doors and windows. It must be a slow acting poison. It’s ... read more
Moorea Beach Club
Beachfront, Cooks Bay
Moorea Beach Club

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 15th 2023

Today we’ve signed up for a land based tour of the island with the apparently iconic local company Franckyfranck Tours. Issy and I did this same excursion back in 2014 with the man Franckyfranck himself. Issy’s decided to pass on a repeat so Scott and I set of on our own. It seems that Franckyfranck isn’t going to guide us today but rather his offsider Tammo. Tammo tells that he’s originally from Germany, but first came to the Marquesas 25 years ago, so for all intents and purposes he’s a local. When we were here in 2014 Franckyfranck lived on his yacht, which we were given to understand was just an interim measure. Well it’s either been a very long interim or housing here’s a bit hard to come by … it seems he still lives ... read more
Early morning on the Moorea waterfront
Looking west from Magic Mountain
Belvedere lookout

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 14th 2023

Today we‘ve signed ourselves up for a full day boat tour out into the lagoon. As we wait for our craft to arrive we’re serenaded by an highly entertaining local four piece band who it seems we’ll have for company for the whole day. Most Polynesians we’ve come across seem to have a real gift for harmonious singing and these guys are certainly no exception. First stop is at the mouth of Cooks Bay, which we’re told, perhaps unsurprisingly, is named after the great navigator. He apparently first landed in Moorea in 1777. This was his third voyage which I think also turned out to be his last - something about a bit of a misunderstanding with the locals in Hawaii. We’re told his first landfall was in the other of Moorea’s two major bays, the ... read more
Tahitian local
Getting up and close with the rays
The band

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 13th 2023

We were all feeling like zombies when we arrived here yesterday so we sleep in ‘til about lunchtime. We think we remember through our zombiness walking a few hundred metres to the supermarket in the pitch blackness last night to stock up on some supplies for breakfast. If I’m remembering correctly it was a terrifying expedition that we were probably lucky to survive in our near comatose states - total darkness, no streetlights, no footpath and a heavily trafficked main road. And as if to prove how stupid we were being we then ventured out along the same road again to get pizza. And very nice pizza it was too. The young lady who served us apologised for the quality of her English, which made it about half a dozen times yesterday that this had happened. ... read more
Moorea’s spectacular peaks
Moorea waterfront
Local flora, Moorea

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 12th 2023

So having not been anywhere near an airport since we came back from last year’s lap of the globe, we’re now off again. And a very exciting sojourn it will be too. By far the most notable event along the way will of course be our beloved daughter Emma’s wedding to Canadian fiancé Michael up in the Rocky Mountains on 29 June. We’re then continuing on to Europe, and at the end of that Issy’s signed herself up for a 20 day art tour through the Greek Islands, with me tagging along for the ride. She’s a talented artist, but I find even stick figures a challenge, so as long as they don’t ask me to model …. Airports seem to have recovered a bit in the intervening period, with health checks and vaccination certificates now ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea February 13th 2023

The next morning, we skipped breakfast and headed to the market in Papeete instead. We checked out of the hotel and headed down the mountain one last time. Papeete is the capital of Tahiti. Much like Hawaii, they pronounce all the vowels. So it's pronounced Papay-EETEE. The market there reminded me of a few others I've been to - some local fruits and vegetables, but mostly stuff for tourists. There may be sections that we missed that would have been more used by locals, but I didn't get the sense that this was set up for locals. It was just as well that we didn't spend much time, because we had a ferry to catch! We stopped for a quick but nice bite to eat before heading to the ferry. It was so hot, at 1030am, ... read more
Croque Monsieur!
View from the bungalow in Moorea
Inside the bungalow

Oceania » French Polynesia » Tahiti February 11th 2023

I've fallen off the blog trail and I'm hoping to make this a routine again. We've taken so many fun trips already, but I'm diving back in with Tahiti. The flight from Seattle (via LAX) was too easy. We got upgraded to the lie flat seats, so that always makes for a nice start to the trip! The 9 hour flight from LAX was punctuated by long naps, 2 meals, and some movies. From the second we stepped off the plane, in the dark, at 7:30pm, the heat and humidity hit us like a wave, and haven't let up since. It feels like 95% humidity at all times, and probably around 80+ degrees even at night. (Though 5 days later we've started to acclimate to it) Customs was sooooo fast and easy, it might have set ... read more
The third waterfall
Great view!
The view

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