Day T-2, Friday, Jan 28, Arrive Papeete

Trip Start Jan 26, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of French Polynesia  , Society Islands,
Friday, January 28, 2011

We departed LAX promptly at 10:05.  The flight was full, and I had an inside sardine-class seat with relatively large people on either side, making for a very LONG night.  The flight was otherwise uneventful and we arrived about 5AM, then needed another hour to clear immigration.  There were a number of passengers leaving today on a Princess ship, but I did not see anyone else from Crystal.  I am staying at the Intercontinental, Crystal's hotel, but independently, so no friendly faces to meet me at customs.  I registered at the hotel about 6:30, but the room will be ready in early afternoon.

Tahiti is an island composed of two round segments connected by a short isthmus.  The main segment is Tahiti Nui, about 20 miles across Tahiti iti is much smaller.One of the real bargains in Tahiti is "LeTruck".  For the equivalent of about $1:50 US this transport goes around the island at frequent intervals.  I had pictured a very primitive conveyance from the name but it is a standard transit bus.  I left the hotel for town about 7:30 and a bus passed just as I was approaching the road but the next one came about 5 minutes later.  The main part of town is quite compact and nestled close to the water as the mountains rise quite rapidly.  There is a large market, a Cathedral, a protestant church which showed no signs of activity, the seat of government and substantial parks along the waterfront.  In this tropical setting I found the sun quite intense even in the early morning, although it was very pleasant in the shade with a breeze.  I walked around town most of the morning, picked up a pizza for lunch around noon and caught "LeTruck" back to the hotel where my room was now ready.  That was pretty much it; I napped the rest of the day rising only for dinner (Chicken, rice, tart, and sherbet) at the hotel restaurant.

Today's parting shot can really only be one thing.  Between the travel and the Baltimore power failure I've been living pretty much in a vacuum since Wednesday morning.  The only English TV I could find at the hotel was CNN, and it was quite distressing.  My last time on the Serenity, just in October, included a port call in Alexandria, and I have also been to Cairo in 2007 and 2009 on other trips.  I'm very glad to have been there when I was.  I believe Serenity's World Cruise this year is going around South Africa and is pretty well isolated from events in Egypt for now, but others are not so fortunate.  I wish the best to the people of Egypt and those traveling to the region.  To the Egyptian people my best wishes for safety, security, stability, and liberty.


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