FRENCH POLYNESIA

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
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Trip End Feb 18, 2007


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Thursday, May 4, 2006

A short two hour flight, and we reach our final South Pacific destination, Tahiti, the main island of French Polynesia.

Visiting Tahiti after being to Aitutaki is like driving a Lada, after test driving a Ferrari.

Just like it's cousin, New Caledonia, it suffers from ridiculously high prices, caused by an almost total dependance on imports from it's mother country France. Not only that, arriving late on Saturday on a Bank Holiday weekend means that everything, and we mean absolutely everything, is closed for the next 2 days.

Now, we have a choice here, we can pay a whopping 40 UK pounds a night for a box room in a basic guest house with shared bathroom, or we can take advantage of a low season offer at the Sofitel resort, for 75 UK pounds a night, including an all you can eat breakfast. We decided that the second option was much better value for money.

Everything is so expensive here that it just takes away your enthusiasm to do anything. So we mainly spend the days eating as much as we can force down ourselves, from the breakfast buffet, and the rest of the day relaxing by the pool.

We did two excursions, one into Papeete, which looks pretty much like any medium sized city in France. Quick, get the Guiness Book of Records over here, we´ve found a contender for the World's most expensive Internet cafe, an unbelievable 12 UK pounds or 22 US Dollars for an hour's dial up connection, ridiculous!

We also took a boat ride to Moorea, which looked prettier and less crowded than Papeete. However, with a lack of public transport and ridiculous taxi prices, we didn't explore much past the port.

We can't say much to recommend Tahiti, unless you have a bottomless wallet, or are using it as a base to head out to Bora Bora, an island that looks like it could give Aitutaki a run for it's money, in terms of natural beauty.

But from what we've seen so far, French Polynesia is essentially that. A very expensive version of France in the South Pacific, and this isn't what we´ve come all this way to see.

We just wish we could move our flight forward, and get to LA that little bit sooner!
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