Family Visit!

My family visited us in Tahiti over their children’s spring break.  After meeting them at the airport and donning them with laes, we went by Henrittas, a favorite French bakery, for the coissants. While in Tahiti we surfed at Papenoo beach, boogie boarded at Point Venus, went to the local markets and ate at the roulettes.  During an inland safari to the volcano crater in the middle of the island, we saw high water falls, swam in cool streams and learned about the local flora. It was going into the rain forest- we called it Jurassic Park. At 5 am Trisitan ran through the local town with us to the cacophony of roosters crowing. We swam in our pool, had drinks watching the sunset and rode the waves at our black sand beach. They went on an introductory dive, and Dirk, who is certified, said the equipment is much easier now! They saw a ship wreck, a plane wreck and tons of fish including sharks. Nicholas, who is 10, snorkeled in the lagoon with me.

We took a side trip to Moorea. We went up to the viewpoint and saw the island from up high. On the way up there was an archeological site of an old temple that we explored.  We stayed in an over water bungalow where Nicholas loved jumping off the balcony into the turquoise water. There was a Polynesian show at the tiki village where our group participated and we tasted native delicacies! We snorkeled from our bungalow and even saw a ray swim by the first evening and had an octopus staying under our bungalow. We kayaked and saw the large sea turtles at the turtle sanctuary. We swam and petted stingrays, and were surrounded by numerous black tipped sharks. Of course we saw numerous beautiful colorful fish while snorkeling near a neighboring motu. Overhead we saw an albatross in flight.

One of the highlights was swimming with the dolphins.

We returned to Tahiti and said a sad goodbye and gave them their shell necklaces.




Opunohu Bay (Bay of Belly of the Stone fish)

Moorea is one of the most photographed tropical islands in the world.

We traveled to Moorea on the Aremiti 5, the fast ferry form Papeete which can get booked up early for cars so you need to go to the left kiosk and buy your car and passenger tickets a week ahead if you can. Passengers do not need to book ahead, but can go to the left kiosk and purchase tickets on the same day. We checked online to see which ferry crossings were booked full for cars and showed up for an early ferry (which the internet said had 1-5 car places left) and got a spot. Like most of French Polynesia, the you can not book on the web.

There are rental car agencies, like Avis, as you exit the ferry so this would be an option if you do not have a car.

Cost for people is about 1000 FPF for locals, double for round trip (no discount). For tourists it is around 1400 FPF. The car was around 8000 round trip.  The fast ferry was booked for cars so we took the slow ferry back- about 50  min, where the fast ferry took us around 45 minutes.

Of note, if you haven’t bought your tickets before getting into the car line in Moorea, as we did not, when the fast ferry was full we had to back out of line and join the slow ferry line.

How to get post in Tahiti

We tried to get a boîte postal in our village, but the post office was totally our of post boxes. We mast wait for someone to die, as they have them for life! The clerk whispered (I am not kidding) that they were out (I guess that is what she said as I couldn’t understand her at all) and shoed me away!  Most post in Tahiti is delivered to post boxes and all the towns between Arue and Papette also had no post boxes. In Papette itself, we could only get a large expensive one. Forget that! So on Monday when the local yoga teacher didn’t show, three of us were waiting for her and one woman works in the next town north’s post office. She said they have boxes, so I went, and with Bruce’s passport, was able to rent one for 2069 FPF. Success! Thanks to Torrak (?) and Delphine, my two newest friends!

So the answer is try all of the neighboring post offices, go with ID and your form printed and filled out from the internet. Translate what you need to say to French. The place to ask for the box is not at the front desk that you need to take a number and queue up for, but at the desk with the vini stuff.
Of note- not a cloud that I can see in the sky but it is down pouring! Strange!