Polynesian paradise

Trip Start Dec 08, 1999
Trip End Feb 27, 2000

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Flag of French Polynesia  ,
Monday, December 13, 1999

I arrived in Papeete, Tahiti, in the middle of the night and attempted to sleep in the airport. It's an open airport which is kind of nice, but the seats were all hard buckets seats so I couldn't lay across them comfortably. 8am eventually came around and I caught my flight to Bora Bora. From the airport, I had to catch a ferry over to the main island. There were a bunch of taxi guys waiting but no one from my hostel/pension. I just caught a ride with one of the other hostel trucks and he dropped me off near to where I was staying. A friendly French guy was running the place. No one else was around...apparently it's the slow season. He suggested I just bike around the island rather than doing a 4wd tour. So I did that checking things out along the way. The beaches weren't very impressive - small and lots of coral so hard for swimming. When I left it was cloudy so I mistakenly didn't put on sunscreen. Partway into the ride the sun came out, and about halfway around the island I noticed I'd become sunburnt. D'oh! I stopped at a little netcafe with dial-up to sent out an e-mail and discovered how wacky the French keyboard layout is. ___ My second day on the island, I went out kayaking. Got to the picture postcard point looking back at the main island. Snorkeled a bit too, but there wasn't much to see. The paddle back against the wind and waves was tough. That afternoon I tried out scuba diving. The boat took us to a deep area and my guide taught us the basics and we swam along not very deep. It was tough on me 'cuz I have a hard time popping my ears - they were hurting bad. Not much of anything to see...some sharks way below but that was about it. The pretty Swedish girl along with me said she got to see a manta ray the day before. Rested a bit back at the hostel then went to meet up with the Swedish girl at her hostel that evening. I thought I knew where it was but ended up walking over an hour...came to what might have been her hostel, but it was kind of deserted. A drunken guy on a moped gave me a ride most the way back. I stopped in at a bar, but not many people there and rather calm.

Flew to the island of Huahine the next morning. Got to the hostel in a little village area and checked in. There were Christmas lights up in the palm trees and other trees around that area. Really doesn't feel like Christmas time when it's hot and humid like that. Huahine is much bigger than Bora Bora so I was only able to bike around part way (and got rained on). Found a nice little beach but didn't spend much time there 'cuz of the sunburn. Being sunburnt on a tropical island sucks. Hung out at the hostel in the evening as there really isn't anything to do.

With the sunburn and lack of people, I was getting kind of bored in paradise. So when I got back to Papeete, I checked with Air New Zealand on bumping up my flight. I had been planning on going to Moorea too, but leaving early would give me more time to spend in NZ (which I needed). Changed my ticket and just wandered around town. At night they setup a large outdoor food area with stalls. I had me a burger and a good crepe (I hadn't had a good crepe since Europe in '93). Later to the airport to wait for my middle of the night flight.
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