Thursday, February 17, 2011

Faa'a Tahiti

When I was pregnant with Emma, Bill and I planned a little getaway. Bill had been doing a lot of travelling for work and had accumulated quite a few 'frequent flier' miles. And, he wanted to cash them in. We chose the furthest place we could get to at the time and we booked a trip to Tahiti.

My doctor was reluctant to let me go since I was experiencing some issues with the pregnancy. However, he had been to Tahiti before and told me it was the most beautiful place on earth - he wasn't going to stand in my way. So, he endorsed the trip as long as I didn't exert myself. That included no scuba diving. UGH! I promised I wouldn't do anything strenuous and we were on our way.

We were still learning how to be savvy travellers. When we arrived at Faa'a Airport (yes, that is the actual name of airport in the capital city of Papeete)  we found the hotel shuttle and jumped in with a honeymooning couple.  I hadn't taken any time to really check out our hotel ahead of time.  But, when the shuttle pulled up to the entrance we weren't disappointed. The disappointment didn't set in until we realized that we had to hike down to the beach over volcanic rock. And the beach was black sand; no one appeared to be going to that beach because it was too damn hot - they all stayed at the pool. I looked at Bill: "Are you kidding? We could be in Las Vegas, for crying out loud. I didn't fly for 13 hours just to spend my vacation by a pool in fricking TAHITI!"  And, I couldn't do the  hike down to the beach nor did I want to roast my bottom once I got there.  I was pretty ticked. I was also in my first trimester and a little crabbier than usual. (OK - I was a bitch).  I felt really spoiled and ridiculous for being so dissatisfied. We were in TAHITI for crying out loud.

Bill thought fast. Rather than being held hostage on the black beach he procured a car and we went for a drive. (This was all on the first day of our trip). It was a small car but there was only two of us and we took off at a good clip. By the end of the afternoon we had travelled the circumference of the entire island. 
Check: we had seen the entire island.

That night we booked a table at a hilltop restaurant the hotel had recommended for the view, aptly named the Belvedere. Trouble was, we got there when the sun had already set so all we could see was the true blackness of the sky.  Bill looked at me across the table and could see the disappointment in my eyes.  Strike two for TAHITI.

The next morning, Bill sprang  into action. He was on the phone and checking maps and brochures. As I came out of the bathroom he told me we were checking out of this dump! "FAA'A Tahiti". I laughed. He said we were going to take the ferry to Moorea - a nearby island. We could take the car and explore over there and see if we could find a place to stay. I was game.

But first, we had to buy supplies. We had seen a grocery store of sorts (a Euromarche) on our previous circumnavigation so we headed there and stocked up. I was having morning, noon and night sickness so he bought lots of bread and fruit. It was the only thing I could keep down.

Then we headed to the ferry and took off for Moorea. It was a fairly short boat ride and when we docked we drove the car off the back of the ferry and  were able to do a quick reconnaissance. We found a small thatched cottage with a kitchenette and we hunkered down. Bill cooked all of our meals  - save one. There was no sense going out since all I could manage was cereal and bread and rice.

I could wax on and on about how wonderful the rest of our vacation turned out.. The water and the air temperature were the same.  The beach, steps from our door, was deserted and clear and the sand was white as snow. The pace was slow and easy. It was truly the most beautiful place I'd ever been.  And Bill made it all happen.

Faa'a Tahiti!

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