TAHITI, French Polynesia

TAHITI, French Polynesia,

Before we got to Tahiti we had a 10 hour overnight flight that was delayed because of a man who threw up on the plane as we were about to take off.  It was so gross and we were actually sitting behind him.  The smell was so bad and Dad and Sawyer had to move seats and sit in the back of the plane.  Mom and me had to stay.  They cleaned up what they could, and sprayed all this air freshener but still gross.  He passed out again, threw up and the medical team came on the plane to take him off.  This took another 2 hours and we went back to the gate and had to wait again.  It was 1:00 am before we left.  I slept until 8:00 am when mom woke me  for breakfast.  That was good..

Tahiti, HOT HOT HOT.  Went through customs and immigration.

FUN FACTwhen you enter another country you have to fill out forms, go through a line when they check your passport, get it stamped, some countries require you to have a certain “visa” already in your passport or you can buy at the immigration office in certain countries.   Only then you can officially enter the country.   The line in Tahiti was short. The airport small.

FUN FACT: French Polynesia is made up 33 islands, this is only one island, called Tahiti, and the capital, Papeete, is located here. 

In case you don’t know how to locate French Polynesia on the world map this will help…

We will be going to other islands also.  It is not the picture postcard white sandy beaches you think of here. Read below.

Rented a car and  drove to our Hotel.  Mom and Dad explained to us that we would be staying in locally run guest houses not big Hotel chains.  We arrived at Hitimoana and it was totally different.  Our room was overlooking the water and a turtle and fish pool that was 4 steps from our door.  No air conditioning, we were so hot with just a fan on the ceiling but slept well anyway.  We had a small kitchen and went to the grocery store to stock up.  We ate here outside on the table  everyday except one.IMG_0883This is the turtle pool and our room is right behind it.IMG_0882

IMG_0884 WE had turtle races and named our turtles. There were 16 turtles in the pool. They would fight with each other and climb up on the sand platform to bask in the sun.This is Sawyer having a crepe along the road .  It is very green here.IMG_0893

The dock was where we jumped into the water and went snorkeling everyday. It was about 10 feet above the water.  There was no beach just the dock.IMG_0881

We saw a lot of small fish and an eel.  Other days we drove to the public beach, it was a black sand beach, very hot with Huge Waves and tons of local surfers.  We went there 2 days. We body surfed at one beach with the huge waves but only stayed in the shallow area.

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The best part of staying here was the family we met from London and the 2 girls, twins age 9 Natasha and Catherine.  they were real world travelers, having lived in Africa also.  They were on a 6 month trip around the world too.  We played everyday, swam, ate, raced the turtles, played at the beach,  etc. Our rooms were right next to each other.  One night we all packed into our small car (no seatbelt law here) and drove to a local dinner van along the road with the best  food. Had so much fun with them we hope to see them in New Zealand or Australia again because they are going there too. FUN FACT: In England a bathing suit is called a “Swimming costume” and the trunk of the car is called “the boot”

Natasha and Catherine , when you are reading this I want you to know I really liked playing with you guys.  Hope to see you again soon .IMG_0904Here we are.  See the guy on the outrigger canoe behind us?  These are coconuts we are holding.

IMG_0907Dinner with our new friends.

OBSERVATIONS of The Island of Tahiti:

Banana’s grow upwards.  We saw many banana and fruit trees. There was a star fruit tree outside our room .  The black sand beaches are HOT, the waves here were huge, surfers come from all over the world to surf here. There were a lot of rocks on the beaches.  The water was clear but not the blue, crystal clear you see in pictures ( I think that will be on our next islands).  There was a lot of graffiti on walls and signs and houses and fences.  It was not nice. We drove half way around the entire island.  We saw all the local houses, all one story.  We saw the schools and the bus taking kids home from school.  We saw the soccer (football it is called) field and men playing.  Sawyer and I played too.  We got to practice. The houses are either small shacks on the coast or across the street from the water.  The one road goes all around the island, you can’t get lost.  The mountains here are HUGE and they cover 90% of the island so if you are not on the coast, you are in the mountains where no one lives.  Everything is either on one side of the road or the other.

Interesting Facts:  The Money here is different, it is equivalent to $1 equals about 100 Francs.  so…1,000 francs is $10 in US money.  (About)  THe money has palm trees and fish on it.  We studies currency conversion and Sawyer and I like to figure it out.  In Tahiti, as in all parts of the world other than the US, they use International Time, which in the US we call it Military Time.  So….when it is 15:00 it is actually 3:00pm.  We learned this and liked using it. It’s hard getting used to.  Also they use Celcius  for temperature and Kilometers for distance.  That is also hard to get used to but it involves a lot of Math.

IMG_0889We will miss our turtles.

Please email rileymeckley@yahoo.com for any questions.