After a very hectic schedule in LA we arrived on the beautiful island of Tahiti and oh my was it beautiful! We had never actually heard of French Polynesia before planning our trip but it was offered to us as a free stop over- one look on google images made the decisIon very easy! The island is situated in the middle of the Pacific ocean in between north America and new Zealand. We arrived at 5am and were quickly told that it was 31 degrees already!! When we walked off the plane we were greeted by 2 men in flowery shirts playing a ukelele and a dancing lady with flowers in her hair.
We made quick work of customs and got a taxi to where we were staying, we pulled up to the house we believed it to be but we weren't sure it was the right one, the taxi driver then called the man we were staying with (a nice Frenchman called Franc) to check the house, neither of us really wanted him to do this as it was 5am in the morning. However Franc answered and even came out to help with Alex's bag, (it seems that no-one sleeps in Tahiti)! Franc then showed us round then most amazing little pool house that we had to ourself complete with shower, washing machine, internet and a cooker!
So with it being morning in our first day, we settled in and got a few hours sleep. After applying mosquito spray, we decided to go to the shops and as it was cloudy and franc had told us that the shops were only a 5 minute walk, we skipped the suncream quickly to get some food. I would like to say at this point that food in Tahiti is so expensive it is unbelievable - so after spending the equivalent of £30 on bread, cheese, ham, crisps, and water - and with it still being cloudy we decided to head off to the beach which was another short walk away.
The beach was a wonderfull sight, with palm trees, little tahitian huts, white sand and greeny-blue sea, so we had some lunch here and then decided to head back to relax by the pool.
As I have mentioned it was cloudy twice at this point, and also that we just popped out without sun cream on, I'm sure you can all see where this is going.....as on the way back from the beach which was only a 10 minute walk, the Tahitian sun in all its power and glory decided to show up and burn us both!! So with eds forearms and neck in tatters and and Alex's back glowing, we stayed out of the sun for a while, picked up a steak for dinner as this is the cheapest meat in tahiti for some amazing reason and retreated to our accomodation to enjoy it.....which we did!
Franc had told us that there was another beach which was nicer about 2km away and so for our second day we decided to check this out, with ed in a long sleeved top and Alex whearing a scarf over a big t shirt to cover the burns, we ventured off to this beach.
Franc had said that if we went to the first beach then we could walk up the sand, so we did this aa the other option was walking along the road. This was all going fine until we ran out of sand and came to quite a problem. The sand ran out and the options were paddle through a deep rock pool with crabs all around or climb over so very large slippery rocks. Alex went with the rock pool and managed to avoid the crabs, ed carrying the camera and phones whilst climbing over seaweed covered rocks with the sea one side and the rockpool with crabs in on his other side could have ended badly but it didn't and we managed to get past this in one piece. After taking around 2 hours to get to this new beach, we sat down on beautiful sand and it was far nicer than the first beach. With the white hot sand and the sun beating down, Tahiti is quite breathtaking. Its a very green country due to all the rain which just makes it so beautiful to look at and walk through,it really does look like paradise. Later we headed back to the poolhouse and enjoyed a tuna steak which Francs 4 cats had an awful lot of interest in!
Final day in tahiti and as Franc had kindly offered to lend us his snorkle equipment and bikes, we borrowed these and headed off to the second beach (the nice one) again, onky this time we dceided to go via the road! On bikes, Tahiti is about as enjoyable as it gets, the hills that run along it are fabulous with green trees covering the hill side in such an impressive way! We made it to the beach in no time at all in began enjoying the heat again, all the time that we were in Tahiti, it did not drop below about 26 ( That is night and day))!!!
We then snorkeld in the sea which was great fun, if a little frightening when this Tiny fish, magnified by the snorkle, approached us and frightened us half to death!
For the last evening Franc has offered to let us try a Tahitian beer and go out for a meal with his family, many of his customers before hand had written reviews on how they had done this with him and loved it so we followed this and took him up on the offer. After the beer, he took us into the centre of the tahiti nightlife on a Friday night, this was great as we wouldn't have been able to see this otherwise. We walked through the centre and into a selection of food vans parked together with tables and chairs which is where he said they loved coming and from looking around it was easy to see why. It was packed with locals and it was such a nice warm evening. The place we ate at was a Tuna van and the delicacy in Tahiti is variations on raw/semi-cooked fish. The trick being to brown the outside whilst leaving the middle pink. We ordered and with varying success. Alex quite enjoyed her tuna which was accompanued by rice and a salad whereas Ed struggled through his after going full tahiti with a tahitian take on gratin potatoes and sauce going with the raw tuna admitting that it wasn't to his taste. However, the evening was really enjoyable and a wonderful experience to round off our short stay in Tahiti, a definate highlight!
Franc also dropped us to the airport to allow us to start the next chapter of our adventure in New Zealand - next stop: Aukland