And just like that – it began! We had booked Air Tahiti Nui to fly Auckland to Papeete as part of our connection into Easter Island and then from there to Santiago, and from the second we got on the flight…no complaints. They give you a flower on arrival into the plane, a REAL.LIFE.FLOWER - it was lovely and I even managed to bring back some of my high school French to thank them (appreciation post to Mrs Wylie)
Movie wise they have 23 to choose from and meals were fairly standard but alcohol was free and Leo managed 3 mini’s of champagne so overall it was a winner. The flight was also empty, I reckon only half full so we had the option of spreading out and moving if we wanted to – but as it was our first day traveling we stayed sat together – start as you mean to go on right? 4 hours and 50 minutes later we arrived into the hot, sticky climate of Tahiti.
Greeted with a truly authentic Tahitian welcome, the full plane was serenaded by 3 colorfully dressed locals singing and dancing as we entered the Airport. Even at 11.10pm at night they welcome was awesome. From here, we were picked up by our Air B n B hosts and taken to our house for the evening. PLEASE NOTE** - we are trying to do Tahiti on the cheap as every single person I have spoken to explains how expensive it is…I am trying to change that.
Please note** - as this is on the cheap, be prepared for some questionable accommodation and food choices throughout. This is no 5* trip. We booked this Air B n B for $59NZD for the night and were able to add on Airport and ferry transfers for an additional $45NZD. If you get a taxi from the Airport it will cost 4500francs ($60NZD) so we snapped an absolute bargain here. The accommodation was fine, it wasn’t flash, it wasn’t 5* but it was great for what we needed for 1 night and delivered on killer views in the morning. From a health and safety point of view, it is incredibly unsafe, and the balcony has no railings, or walls so it’s literally a drop to your death – we still loved it.
This blog covers both the 8th and 9th April as we left on the 9th, arrived on the 8th and then on the 9th (again) we headed off to Moorea. My mind and body are so confused, and Groundhog Day certainly kicked in. We arrived at the ferry terminal at about 9am for the 10am crossing to Moorea as we still had to get our tickets and as a creature of habit, I need to be early. Costing wise, tickets to Moorea return are 3000francs each - $45NZD and we had some breaky at the terminal too which added on an extra $17NZD.
Now, Moorea is simply wow. I mean unreal – it is as if we entered Jurassic Park with its steeping mountains in the clouds, thick dense lush forest sweeping for miles and beautiful crystal-clear water, I even spotted a sea turtle as we were docking!! So, my day was made.
From the terminal we made our way to our next questionably cheap accommodation for the next 5 nights. Again, it was through Air B n B and this time staying with an authentic Tahitian family along with their 10+ dogs and kittens. This time round the accommodation is only costing $40NZD per night which for Moorea standards is a steal as generally speaking per night will cost from $200 - $1000NZD+. If we had booked these places, then our year long adventure would have been over pretty quickly.
The hosts are a dream, such a wonderfully kind family, allowing us to check in 4 hours early, opening their kitchen to us including all their food and spices and this afternoon we all sat and ate coconuts from their garden. We learned about their culture, what their tattoos mean, the history of the island and what being a family in Tahiti means to them. It was actually lovely as we feel very comfortable here…APART FROM THERE IS NO FAN!! As I am writing this I am literally melting, sat typing under my mosquito net, Leo is sleeping, and I want to tear out my eyes as it’s 30 degrees.
We learnt about using coconuts to make washing up liquid, detergent for clothes and coconut oil. The locals explained that it is so expensive here for them as well so they really need to live off the land that they have - the rest of the world...take note!
Back tracking slightly, the rest of the day was a lazy one as we are both exhausted and it’s hot here, like really.hot! We bought some supplies for the next few days at the market (and yes its really expensive but, breakfast for the week, 2 dinners and some snacks cost us $52NZD) We then took a walk to get our 10k steps in and headed North of the island to the public beach, near where all the floating bungalows are, it would be amazing to be rich as they look unreal!
Too tired to walk back I popped my hitch-hiking cherry and managed to catch a ride back to the accomo with another beautiful family – everyone here is so friendly, and as I’m with Leo I feel pretty safe hitch hiking, but probably would never do it myself in a country I am not familiar with.
Tomorrow we are planning on swimming with sharks and stingrays, which I cannot wait for so I will keep you posted but for now it’s bed time – I don’t even know what day it is. Literally.