A Travellerspoint blog

From Tahiti to Moorea

Day 8

sunny 27 °C

This morning I awoke with the realization that we were out of bottled water. I tiptoed out the door and headed down to the breakfast bar to buy a bottle of water. I brought with me 400 francs which equated to about 6 NZ dollars. I asked the lady behind the counter for a 1.5 litre bottle of water. She came back and rang up the amount on the till and my jaw dropped as the price registered in my brain.... It is the most expensive bottle of water I have bought to date and came to 700 franks or NZ$10.50. I headed back to the room to offer what must have been rose scented and gold laced water to Jess and Lou.

Jess, Lou and I then headed down to the infinity pool for a swim and were enjoying ourselves tremendously when a french aqua aerobics class began. The music cranked up and people piled into the other end of the pool. Moments later we spun to see people swarming across the pool toward us. We dived to the side and narrowly missed the tsunami which followed! Soon we hopped over the fence and wandered down the black sand beach to feel the power of the waves. Within seconds we realized our folly as our feet and ankles where tenderized by incessant rocks that pummelled them time and again. We hopped out of the water and headed back to our room where we had showers to freshen up and packed our bags as we were to head to Moorea today. We were quite looking forward to it because Tahiti really felt like the slums! Our bell boy knocked on our door, we loaded our bags onto the trolley and headed to the reception to await our taxi. We noticed a big bongo drum and decided to pass our time practising tunes.
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Before we knew it we were at the dock waiting to buy a ticket for the ferry. We purchased them for 1500 franks each and found some seats up the front. The seats were very comfortable but as we were hungry we headed through to the diner section of the ferry and purchased some cold meat products (which were not enjoyed by the girls) and drinks. As we finished lunch we headed upstairs to the open top deck to admire the view.
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We docked and waited for ages for our luggage to be unloaded... by the time it was all the buses and taxis had gone so we sat and waited for the next available taxi to turn up. Our taxi driver was a lovely woman who gave us a run down of the sights along our way. The taxi fare was already pre negotiated so we didn’t care how long it took. After checking in at our hotel we were shown to our suite. The master room bed was set out with flowers in the shape of a love heart which brought on a lot of jumping and flower throwing by all but me....
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LOL A little while later a know was heard on the door and we were presented with a bottle of french wine compliments of the hotel. We sampled a glass and headed to the activities counter to book our activities for the next few days. When we arrived back to our suite we found a bag with a free pearl in it as a thank you to Louise for booking her honeymoon with them.

You can imagine the shock Jess and I got and it took some time for Louise to convince us that this was a mistake on the hotels part. After a quick swim through the orange and red hues of the sparkling sunset we headed to the hotels restaurant for dinner.
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Both Jess and Lou ordered a Caesar salad which sated all the included ingredients excepting mashed up ANCHOVIES!!!! Hmmmm.... this was not a favourite dish for any of us and only Jess managed to finish her anchovy Caesar salad!

Posted by classique 14.05.2012 03:13 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

Boats, Planes and Automobiles

Day 6

sunny 31 °C

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Today I got up early and walked to the outer edge of the atoll our resort was located on to check out the waves i had fallen asleep listening to. They turned out to be reef breakers which weren’t as spectacular as i had hoped. The waves were small and broke about 50 metres off shore on a shallow reef. I headed back to the inner part of the atoll, grabbed a kayak and kayaked around our resort, stopped in at our over water bungalow to say good morning before continuing further from our resort by several hundred metres to check out a hut that Jess was interested in. It turned out to be an over water (rather in the water) dilapidated rotting hut. I then rowed back to the resort and returned the kayak to go for a quick swim. By this time the girls were fully awake. We packed, called for the concierge to collect our luggage and headed to reception. We managed to get one of the receptionists to take us to our boat in a big golf buggy. We headed to the airport by boat where we ate some morning tea (breakfast) before catching our flight back to Tahiti.
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We then hired this very sporty Megane with the plan to hit the road in search of one of the most awesome reef surf spots around called teahupoo. (pronounced “chow po”) First things first though so we headed off to our hotel using a map given to us at the hire place. It showed on main road skirting the whole exterior of the island.... needless to say theres a heck of a lot of roads in Tahiti and only one of them was shown on this map. We found a supermarket so we headed in and bought lunch for Sunday. Jess and Lou found the sweets and chocolate isle and were never seen again. But seriously they spent ages drooling over all the choices and i think they maxed out their credit cards. I was going to say soon we were on our way but, lol, soon cannot be said when ladies find a vast array of chocolate never before seen. So.... Eventually, we hit the road again driving down every back street and into some very slummy areas before i managed to sign language with a Tahitian lady who under stood the words “Radisson Hotel”. Finally we located our hotel, checked in, dumped our gear and hit the road in search of Teahupoo. It was meant to be about an hour and three quarters away so i put pedal to the metal and drove and drove and drove.... two and a half hours later I found where we were on the ridiculously stupid map... We were at least and hour past teahupoo and not much more then an hour from our hotel. With sunlight fast waning we decided to ditch teahupoo and continue our way home. Along the way we saw many large tuna and other coloured fish hanging by their tales on the side of the road for sale. We stopped at this random beach and heres some cool pics of the sunset.
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We stopped at a supermarket and were advised the Radisson hotel was about half an hour away. The shop owner recommended the food from a side of the road caravan just up the road so we headed over and ate some local cuisine. Dinner was tasty and filling. We hit the road again and found our hotel was only 5 minutes down the road. Considering we had paid for hire till late on Saturday night we figured it would be a better plan to have a look around Papeete while we had the chance. We took our Megane to the highest point of a hill overlooking Papeete and enjoyed the night view with threatening dogs watching us. We also took a cruise through the city centre getting lost for awhile before i regained my bearings. Finally we dropped off our hire car and headed back to the hotel by taxi where we hand washed our clothes and hung them along the balcony to dry.

Posted by classique 25.04.2012 03:44 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

Snorkelling, Jetskis and posh lodgings!

Day 5

sunny 30 °C

First thing this morning Jess and I headed out for an early morning snorkel. We donned our equipment, braved the cold and swam out and around the waters surrounding our motel. After some time we found the best snorkeling was under the over water bungalows. Long needle nosed fish that looked see-through, little yellow fish, and a collection of others swam around as though for a=our enjoyment stopping to feed once in a while.

We headed back to our room for a quick shower followed by breakfast and a mega quick pack. I lugged the bags to reception were we dumped them and got picked up. Our adventure of choice for today was water skiing and I must say that i was looking forward to it a little but soon was reveling in the speed and air that was to come! We arrived at Matira Jet ski tours where we were kitted out with life jackets and shown how to operate our machines. We waded out to our jetskis slightly bummed that we had left our digital cameras behind as their was water proof compartments on the jetskis. Lou and Jess climbed aboard one of the crafts and I on another. Moments later we were skimming along the open ocean to check out the scenery of Bora Bora.... well that’s what most of the others were doing. I spent 80 percent of the time carving up the wake and waves that came along! We headed out along the coastline of Bora Bora and cruised past the major resorts pulling in excess of 35 miles per hour. Sometimes a set of waves would roll across our path launching us airborne whilst a shower of spray descended on us. We arrived at a picture perfect location where we had some photos taken using a disposable camera which had been hurriedly purchased earlier in the day. Then we continued on our way past several other high class resorts including the wallet destroying intercontinental Thalasso Spa which we were to move to later in the day. We coasted into a secluded beach which had some young native kids flaying and kayaking. The kids took an instant shine to Jess and Lou and soon i was pushing them around in their kayak with all my might which brought cries of laughter from the kayak. After eating some free coconut, Sweet grapefruit and unformed coconut innards we took to the water again. Jess took the controls this time whilst Lou sat in behind. I was gaining more confidence flicking the jetski from side to side with huge amounts of spray following. I believe the two couples following behind were enjoying my antics when i decided at approve 30 – 35 mph to flicks the jet ski into a hard hard side ways turn.... The jetski came to an instant halt and I flew through the air in what must have been an awesome sight straight into the magnificent blue waters. So far today I had snorkeled, Jetskied and flown... I swam hard for the jetski hoping to get there before the guide had noticed so i could continue on. Needless to say the guide had seen and banked into an impressive turn that freaked the girls out. They handled the turn with prowess and managed to stay on! I got back on my jetski and the guide managed to get it started again. The throttle was jammed at a much higher rev limit as we resumed our trip. We continued on over the waves and pulled into Matira beach to conclude our incredibly awesome trip.
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We were taken back to our hotel where we paid our bills, sweet talked a local to give us a lift, loaded our luggage and headed to the intercontinental Moana resort. I slipped a 1000 frank note to say thanks, unloaded our luggage and we wandered down to the dock to await our boat transfer to the intercontinental Thelasso Spa where we would stay in an over water bungalow of extreme class. This bungalow cost more then an arm and a leg but as we entered the room we felt justified in our investment! Class oozes from this place, so much so that only pictures can explain so heres some below.

We headed back to check out what spa treatments were available... thinking that considering the price of our room we could at least use a jacousie... we were wrong! Everything has its price, We were given a tour of the facility before retiring to the beach for another snorkel whilst considering the spa options. Jess was snorkeling along when suddenly Lou heard a bubbling voice which beckoned for immediate attention. Lou raced over to Jess and was excitedly told about a sea snake which Jess had spotted. They both put their heads back in the water and sure enough there was the black and white stripped snake glaring right back at them. Before we new it it was happy hour so we grabbed our towels and headed to the infinity pool to enjoy a cocktail. One cocktail down we jumped into the pool for a wee frolick before downing another cocktail.


After a quick shower we headed to the restaurant for a another very expensive buffet and watched the end of the cultural show which was being held.

Posted by classique 15.04.2012 02:47 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

An ocean full of sharks

Day 4

all seasons in one day 26 °C

Opening the curtains brought a feeling of dismay as gloomy grey clouds and rain dampened our spirits.
After a quick breakfast we headed down to await our pick up. A 4wd rolled up and we hopped into the back. We stopped in at every local hotel to pick up more people and arrived at our dock by about 9.
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All aboard and off we went into the blue horizon. The guys running the tour picked up their musical instruments and started up with a tune. The bongo drum harmonized well with the Ukulele, then two of them began to sing a Tahitian song. The clouds cleared a little and the rain stopped. We arrived at our location, a shallow sand bar, donned our goggles and snorkels then dived into the beautiful clear blue water. As we put a our heads into the water the fish became clear and a myriad of sharks swam into view. Stingrays and a host of coloured fish joined in for a feeding frenzy. We snorkeled around swimming between the sharks and neon coloured fish and taking short breaks by standing on the sand bank. I dived down hard after a shark and just managed to touch it when it flew off to get away from me. Louise and I had a spiky sea urchin placed on our hands. They look like a large pin cushion and where quite weird to hold. We then boarded our boat and headed to a coral garden where the water was about 7 metres deep, but the coral climbed up from the ocean floor. We dived in and began to snorkel around when a moorea eel flew out of its cavern for my foot. I dived down and touched purple and blue mouthed clams which instantly shut their mouths. After and amazing half hour chasing fish big and small we once again boarded out boat and headed to the lagoonariam. When we arrived we where shown the toilets which didn’t flush. We soon figured out that we were to flush them with a bucket of water from a barrel outside.
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Within minutes we staring at a grey nurse shark and several cute but large turtles. Back in the water again and we were swimming with more large fish and some baby sharks... soon though we were in a large enclosure which held large black point and yellow finned sharks measuring up to 8 foot in length. We hugged stingrays as shown below and Jess even bit ones tail!
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Small blue finned tuna sting rays and many other fish swam around us. Another highlight was the eagle rays which swam by with fish swimming directly under them mirroring there every move. After some time I looked to see where Jess had disappeared to and found her in the arms of her new very best friend Joseph, one of the guides, who took a real shine to our young Jess. He was to be found sitting, singing and chatting to her throughout the whole day! As soon as Jess was alone, Joseph would run over to woo her! Needless to say Jess lapped up all the attention given...

We dragged our exhausted bodies from the water and plonked down at the tables ready for lunch. Lunch was served and consisted of taro, some kind of sweet potato, Garlic rice, marinated raw fish, Tuna, chicken and banana tapioca. I'm not much fussed on taro, sweet potato Tahitian style, and tapioca banana! I can also say that Jess and Lou feel the same cause theirs ended up on my plate!
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After lunch we were given a couple of hours of free time so we attempted a walk around the island, soon giving up because the broken coral under foot was so sharp! Here we found cool little crabs which lived out of shells. We picked them up and this wee fella climbed Louise's arm.
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We went for a couple more swims with the sharks and rays and had a lie down on the waters edge. Just before departure a lively and fun demonstration of several different ways of tieing sarongs was given for both males and females.
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We climbed aboard our boat for the last time and headed back to base where we transferred into the back of a 4x4 as shown below and brought to our hotel
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We freshened up and headed over to Mitira beach before reclining on the beach with a cocktail for a chat. Soon we found ourselves sitting at a pizzeria dining on fresh oven cooked pizza's and tuna (in Jess' case which was better then the pizzas).
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Posted by classique 15.04.2012 02:40 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

The treasure hunt and Bloody Mary's

Day 3

sunny 30 °C

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The alarm beeped and was instantly shut up to a resounding silence of relaxed sleep! An hour later we stirred checked the time and freshened up. Breakfast beckoned so we headed to the restaurant for a fabulous breakfast! My plate was filled with bacon, eggs, toast, a sausage, a chocolate croissant and a tub of lichee yogurt plus a couple of glasses of juice. We headed over for a kayak to find no one at the office so i dived in and handed out the life jackets and paddles. We spun the kayaks around and rowed our way out into the turquoise waters. After about an hour or so our shoulders and other muscles were killing so much that we headed back in to swap to bicycles and headed down the main road toward Viatapu, the main town of Bora Bora. We stoped in at several cool spots along the way including a famous restaurant called Bloody Mary's.
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We took some photos, made a reservation for the evenings dinner and wnet to take off when the skies let loose a torrent of water. We raced back inside and ordered a cocktail. Soon we were chatting to the owner who told us of the whole history of the restaurant! Finally we departed wishing our new friend Rick farewell.

We stopped in at virtually every pearl shop along the way to buy a pearl.
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Finally, after 2 hours of perusing the vast array of different options we went back to a white tiled shop whose tiles we had muddied earlier to purchase 2 pearls.
We were running excessively late by this point so i unlocked the bikes and and moved them to the store front in search of someone i could flag down to give us and our bikes a lift. In the mean time the girls spent ages filling out and signing form after form for the purchase of their pearls.
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The jewelry designer for the whole of the Pearla shops chain took pity on us and organized for our bikes to be bused home due to a storm front sweeping in. We walked to his house and jumped into his two door Mercedes which i believe was the only one on the island. Within minutes we were back at the Maitai in time for a quick dip and a shower. We met at the bar for a cocktail before heading to Bloody Mary's for a dinner which was second to none. I had pork ribs which were amazing, Jess had a Tahitian fish called Mahoo Mahoo which tasted similar to parrot or sword fish. Louise had chicken breast... surprise surprise.

Once back at our room we changed and headed over the road for a night swim. We then lay back to star gaze for awhile.

Posted by classique 15.04.2012 02:35 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)

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