Finishing Up in French Polynesia

Trip Start May 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of French Polynesia  ,
Sunday, June 18, 2006

Greetings from the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia!

Well, my trip has just about come to a close, as I leave back for Edmonton (via LA and Vancouver) late tonight. What a great place to end off my journey! French Polynesia is every bit the paradise that I hoped it would be and I have enjoyed another week of good (and hot!) weather.

I've made the most of my time here, chilling out in Pape'ete (the capital) and taking in all the bustle of the port. For dinner, vendors gather on the main quay and cook up all sorts of yummy food at low cost. The food and atmosphere is really great and there's no better (or other) way to keep eating costs down in Pape'ete than to eat at these "roulottes". I took a short boat trip over to the nearby island of Mo'orea for the day. I rented a car and went cruisin'. Mo'orea is quite the sleepy little island, filled with jagged mountain pinnacles, palm groves and pristine bays, instead of the traffic and bustle of Pape'ete. I snuck a quick snorkel and suntan in the lagoon on my way around the island.

The final treat of my vacation was to fly to Bora Bora to spend my last couple days in the laziest fashion possible. Flying in to Bora Bora is amazing, as the airport is built on one of the small islands that circle Bora Bora and the lagoon. You then have to take a passenger ferry to the island, so the airport is also a seaport. The whole place is really relaxed, as there is a beach right off to the side of the Check-In desks, and the airport personnel play petanque (French version of bocce ball) in between flights. My hotel picked me up by boat directly from the airport. The hotel that I stayed at is also on one of the tiny islands (motu), just like the airport. You could walk across it in 3 minutes, on one side there is the beautiful lagoon and an absolutely amazing view of Bora Bora, and on the other side is reef and open ocean. I stayed in a private bungalow right on the edge of the lagoon and had the entire place to myself.

After taking a nap, I was taken by boat to a beach not too far off, where I had my last suntan & snorkel of my trip. At supper time, I treated myself to a nice meal of "poisson cru" (a Tahitian delicacy of tomato, onion, carrot, and raw cubes of fresh tuna marinated in lime juice and coconut milk) and a grilled mahi mahi (a type of fish) steak marinated in vanilla sauce. All that was left to do then was to watch the sunset and stargaze at the Southern Cross and Milky Way -- the perfect day =)

I headed back to the airport by boat very early this morning. It drizzled a little during the ride, and I was treated the sight of: soaring mountain peaks, water the colour of blue Alize, the pink and orange sky at sunrise, and a rainbow over the entire scene. The only part of me that was glad to leave was my wallet!

And so, I have packed my luggage up to the brim and am getting myself prepared for the flight back home tonight. My South Pacific adventure is one more sunset and one final "le roulotte" dinner away from coming to a close. I look forward to sharing memories of this and more with you once I find myself back at home in Canada.


Chris =)
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