How is the French Polynesia planning going?...DIFFICULT.
I would have to say this is the most difficult country ive had to try and put together. I am finding hotels have ridiculous daily taxes and charges that show up on your credit card to the tune of sometimes an extra $150, French dive shops on Rangiroa and Fakarava are the height of arrogance to be honest. After months of emailing I was told "We will LET you into the blue with us".....? on Rangi...Faka even worse..One out of the only 3 places (4th gets terrible reviews on scuba boards) basically told me off..his email had no hello, goodbye just "No. We are booked in Advance for months"...and no suggestion of anywhere else to try. I love the way they will let me but i am paying huge dollars to be allowed into their blue.
To top it off FP diving is strictly controlled and most places except the one American outfit refuse to acknowledge PADI - I circumvented this by having a friend in Thailand convert all my certification to CMAS as well..😉.
I did end up getting my sister at flight centre to book my flights to Papeete as she got the most direct route with a full service airline at reasonable times, leaving perth at 5.55pm and stopping at Auckland for only 3 hours before boarding to be in Papeete by 3pm which saved the hours of sitting around at airports changing planes if I chose budget airlines and combos...her price was actually pretty good..$2450 return with Air NZ and Air Tahiti code share. I could have saved $180 but lost 2.5 days in travel time hanging around airports.
All i have left to do now is pay the inter island flights..again FP do this differently from the rest of the world - you book on their website then they send you an email confirming then you pay which I shall do when my pay goes in on Thursday then I shall bundle up the whole lot of bookings flights and have asked our kind and wise Travel Camel just to double check everything and make sure I havent made any mistakes.
Its a horrendously expensive trip, but then, I am opting to throw $100 notes to the wind and indulge myself outrageously on this one...my hotel on Bora Bora is a private island overwater bungalow with breakfast delivered to my bungalow by outrigger canoe every morning :D and have been given an upgrade to an Lagoon bungalow on Moorea as they managed to take 2 months to confirm my bookings...seems things in FP are done on FP time and you just best deal with it.
Overall I have had this feeling that FP does not like or want bogun Aussie tourists LOL. I can now see why the cruise ship option is the most popular for visiting FP but that doesnt allow me to do any diving and I do want to dive Tipuata Pass so...I shall win them over with my non bogun aussie charms..i hope.
Thankfully I have friends in NZ who have insisted I stay with them for my short time in Auckland so that should save me some $.
I have been told many if not most of the French refuse to speak English so a good friend put me onto a great App for my Ipad which translates both in text and by voice..i can see myself standing there with an Ipad frantically typing away to get a baguette...damn I wish I had paid more attention at high school when I did french.
Une Aeroglissuer d'est plain de anguilles or however you spell it isnt going to get me far (My hovercraft is full of eels...the only phrase I remember lol).
Camping at Moore River sounds very attractive right about now Tam 😊
[Edited: 2012 Nov 04 02:17 - littlewing:163970 ]