When It Rains, It Pours

Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 15, 2005

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Flag of French Polynesia  , Society Islands,
Friday, December 9, 2005

Our flight arrives in Papeete just after midnight on the 9th. Outside the plane, it is pouring down rain. The airline even gives us all disposable ponchos so we can walk from the plane to the terminal. Since nothing is open and no buses are running, we decide to sleep in the airport until daylight. The airport seems to be built on the principle of being as uncomfortable and inconvenient as possible, and as such, we sleep in some steel seats on the domestic end of the building. After waking up a few times from various parts of my body screaming out in pain from the chair, 6:30am finally rolls around. Like many Pacific islands, this one has a main road that runs around the perimeter along the coast. It's not much trouble to walk out to the road and flag down a bus/truck thingy that is going towards the only city. When we arrive in the city 15 minutes later, it's still raining. We walk along the bay for just a little ways and come to the ferry headed to Moorea. Our guidebook (and friend who already went through here) suggests skipping the island of Tahiti (the main island) and just heading straight for Moorea, about 15km away. The only backpacker place available in the entire territory is located on Moorea as well, so our options are limited.

The ferry is actually a smaller catamaran type of boat and my companion nearly gets seasick on the 25 minute voyage. Once we arrive, the local bus (circuits the islands only road), takes us around to our campground on the far side. Our room is only $15, and consists of a room with two beds...that's it. There is no chair, no night stand, no outlets, just a single light on the ceiling. The door doesn't even have a latch, it just has a hook to keep it closed and a padlock hasp on the outside.

About 400 meters from our campground is a small village of shops with a few restaurants and a grocery store. It's not very busy as it was all originally built to support a ClubMed village across the street that closed a few years ago. The grocery store prices are actually kind of decent, but everything else in this country is ridiculously expensive. The Internet costs about US$10 per hour at the cheapest locations. This is the highest price of the entire trip.

It continues to rain for the rest of the day, so we generally stay inside of our room. The mosquitoes are everywhere, so I set up the mosquito net that I nearly threw away a couple weeks ago. As the campground has very little facilities, I'm restricted to staying in bed under the mozzie net to read for the rest of the day...
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