I woke up at 5:00 AM today like a kid on Christmas morning. I was too excited to sleep, so I enjoyed my balcony and giant tub, as well as a sip of champagne. I don’t care that it’s 5:00 AM, I was out of orange juice to call it a Mimosa. Don’t judge my lavish lifestyle, it’s not every day that I get to do this.
Day one in Tahiti is off to a great start, especially when my delicious breakfast included Nutella! Our site inspection of the Intercontinental Tahiti went very well; it’s a nice hotel for a night or two, but I know the magic of French Polynesia rests in the island hopping… not that I’ve island hopped at this point, I’m actually writing this while in the airport waiting on a flight to Bora Bora. I’d like to be able to say that sentence at least four more times in my life.
This does give me a little time to recount todays events – we met up with a second group, comprised of Signature members (ours is a majority Virtuoso group), for a market day, lunch and an island tour. The market wasn’t much to see – I just learned that everything in Tahiti is extremely expensive. For instance, I regretted not purchasing an underwater camera before I left the States when I found out that a throw-away Kodak underwater camera costs around $50. What the?! The following activities, lunch and the island tour, really were the highlight of our time in Tahiti.
Our driver, a loud, hilarious woman from Marama Tours, took us along the Tahitian coast, where we passed by surfers and locals enjoying a lazy Saturday off (Short work days: compliments of the French in French Polynesia). Our drive slowly turned from sparkling blue water to lush green surroundings – we were in the middle of a rainforest, passing by locals with small huts in the middle of the greenery. It was incredible to me, the area we’re in has a million dollar view, yet the poorest of people reside here. They seem so happy, still, waving to our bus as we drove by. The road ended deep in the forest, where our driver pointed us in the direction of the waterfall. We passed through the tangled webs of trees and speckled patches of sunshine until we were greeted with the most awe-inspiring waterfall I’ve ever seen. I could have spent days in this area – it was so incredible that my words could never do it justice:
The ride back had several photo opportunities, including a rocky area with blowholes, which reminds me of Hawaii. I chatted with a couple of Australian guys who happened to be working on a boat named Georgia. I ask them if the owner had Georgia on his mind and they informed me that he plays the song on a daily basis.
Further down the road, we stopped at a local hangout called Venus Point (I think), nothing much to look at besides a cool lighthouse. However, the local men have certainly found something to look at: Laura and myself. We actually spot one of them taking a picture of us as we walked by – creepy! I just made sure to smile for the camera. Completely joking.
After what is already a long day, I find myself sticking to the airport chairs and waiting anxiously for our flight to Bora. To pass the time, Andrew, one of the Travel 2 reservations managers on the trip with us, just offered me a Chicken Twistie, an Aussie snack that looked like neon yellow cheetos and tasted like eating a bouillon cube. This is where I’ll leave you, since I need to find something to drink.
— Addendum: When I have better internet access, I’ll add some photos from the flight to Bora Bora. We were not given seat assignments, which maked me antsy, and we were told that the scenic flight was best experienced from the left side of the plane. Somehow, despite our initial middle-spot in line, Laura and I managed to be passengers two and three on board the plane. The views were worth it, no other words could explain it, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.