Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paradise Found

Our flight to Tahiti, though 8 ½ hours went very quickly. I slept quite a bit, Mom not as much. Breakfast came at 3:30 PST and by 4:30 we were on the ground at Fa’a Airport. We were warmly welcomed with flowers and thanks to Mom’s cane we were expedited through customs and immigration. We did need to get out some local currency, the Polynesian Franc, however, I am having a tough time with the math. For reference 100 USD is about 8700 XPF. 
"Play" Money
After retrieving our bags we were off to get a taxi and head to the port where we would pick up the ferry to Moorea. We were extremely early, so we had to wait until 7:00 AM for the ticket stand to open. We are in the same time zone as Hawaii, so that makes it 5 hours behind EST. English is not widely spoken here, so I am really struggling to remember my French. However, I was able to purchase our tickets entirely “en Francais”. The majority of those heading over on the ferry were French and/or locals coming over to the island for the day. 
Waiting on ferry

The Aremiti 5 is the high-speed catamaran that not only takes passengers, but also freight and vehicles. The stick to a very strict schedule and by 7:35 we were on our way. It was only a 30-minute trip with some of the most beautiful scenery. After getting off of the ferry and again getting our luggage, we were met by our driver. We are staying at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon & Spa, which is approximately 25 minutes from the ferry dock. The island of Moorea is a heart shaped island only about 11 km from Papeete, Tahiti. These islands are all considered part of French Polynesia. The only inhabitable area is just along the coastline since most of it is extremely mountainous. By 9:00 AM we were being driven to our over the water bungalow (OWB) by a nice man named Manuiti. He and his family have been on Moorea for generations and told us that 80% of those who are native to Moorea are related. He said that he has to go to another island to meet women or has to get an extensive background on someone he meets here since they are probably related! Our accommodations here are unlike any in the world and something I have only seen pictures of, or in the movie Couples Retreat. We have a panoramic OWB, so we have views of the gorgeous turquoise waters all around us and even a glass section of our floor. There were fresh fragrant flowers decorating the beds – frangipani. 
Views from our room
It took us no time to get out on our deck on the comfy chaise lounges and start sunning ourselves. Considering it took us 28 hours to get here we were in extremely good spirits and Mom seems to be getting along better than ever. The weather is warm and humid with a constant breeze, just what one would expect in the South Seas. The water is so clear that I can photograph the coral from up on the deck. 
We waited until 11:30 to go and get something to eat for lunch. We split a salad and enormous pizza – what can I say, we needed comfort food! After lunch we spent some time by the pool and I went swimming. We headed back later this afternoon to enjoy our “little grass hut” as my Mom calls it. 
Our Hut
Sunset on Day One

We had a knock on the door and before we knew it we had a bottle of white wine being delivered to our room compliments of the hotel. Since we knew it was past 5 o’clock at home we decided to enjoy a glass and watch a movie on TCM (the only channel in English other than CNN). We had our leftover pizza from lunch followed by pecan pie that we brought all the way from NC. It was a strange and eclectic meal, but we both were too tired to go out tonight. There was some additional entertainment as we watched a “gar” fish tread water underneath our floor. After dinner we each enjoyed a much needed shower under an 18 inch square rain shower head. It was all I could do to get out. Mom usually helps me with the blog, but this evening she has already fallen asleep, so I am on my own! I am trying to hang in there just a bit longer so I don’t wake up at 3 AM. Not sure what tomorrow holds since that will depend on how we’re feeling. Sending warm wishes back to everyone at home. Bonsoir!


gtzabuzz said...

I am so happy you arrived safely. Anna and I are watching your blog and I bet Greg wishes he were in a little warmer climate with you all! LOL Oh well guess its my turn in June. We love you and miss you, Tanya and Anna

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