April 16th, 2009 @ 3:15 pm by Mike · 1 Comment
Just like you see in post cards Tahiti was a perfect picture of paradise with long stretches of silky white undisturbed sand and water so blue it was unimaginable. This is what the Goonies would have to endure over the next 8 days.
Tahiti is an French Polynesian Island that is situated in the middle of no where in the Pacific Ocean. It is steeped with Maori heritage and a top honeymoon destination for rich newly married couples. So although the island was stunningly beautiful and a perfect location to relax, it was going to be a struggle to live on a backpackers budget. Everything on the island was expensive beyond belief and even more expensive than London. We all came to the same conclusion that eating here was a luxury and had to survive on pasta, soup, bread and onions, harsh times!!
Once we landed in island of Tahiti we only briefly explored the island visiting the Robert Wan Pearl Museum which had a seriously expensive but beautiful collection of Black Pearl jewellery. We also visited the Tahiti Pearl Market on Rue Paul Gauguin and another general market on Francois Cardella to experience from a local point of view everyday life on the island.
For the rest of our time we stayed on an island called Moorea which was slightly cheaper but still host to an array of exclusive hotels including a Sheraton. As for ourselves we stayed in the cheapest hostel / camp site called Moorea Camping. The rooms we lived in were very basic huts with just a bed and a wood panel for a window used for ventilation. The communal kitchen, living area and showers were very basic too with poor hygiene and cleanliness levels. I still remember taking a shower and feeling a little itch on the lower part of my leg. Upon inspection I discover that it was a huge cockroach crawling up my leg that instantly sent shivers down my spine. I immediately flicked the cockroach away but it just wouldn’t stay away and kept on trying to crawl on me, so I just assumed it was on a suicide mission and put it out of it’s misery.
Other than relaxing on the picture perfect beaches which was on the doorstep of our camp site we managed to do a few activities. We went on a small cruise with local fisherman called Teva who showed us around the bays of the islands, took us swimming with sting rays and sharks and snorkelling through some Tahitian coral. He evened taught us to eat a Mango Tahitian style which was to eat a whole mango like an apple, attacking through the soft juicy mango flesh ruthlessly with the skin still on leaving no casualties behind.
We also rented a scooter and managed to ride around the Island of Moorea twice stopping off to see the waterfall at Afareaitu, Baie d’Opunodu to relax on the gorgeous beach that is shared with the luxurious Sheraton Hotel. Finally we rode up to a view point called Belvedere view point that has scenic views of both Baie d’Opunodu and Baie de Cook separated by Mt Rotui.
Next stop Australia for more sun, surf and sea.
Tags: French Polynesia