Friday, 20 February. This is my third day on Moorea, the cute heart-like shaped island next door to Tahiti, French Polynesia. The first two days I felt virtually brain dead because of the heat. I still suffer a bit, especially now, at 3pm, when the sun is unbearable and there is no wind to cool me down, let alone water (it is bathtub warm). Don’t get me wrong, this place is beautiful! The volcanic mountains that soar behind me, covered by deep green rainforest. The turquoise blue water that I’m looking at right now, the waves breaking on the reef at the horizon. The tranquillity. The smell of trees and fresh fruits. However, all I can think of right now is an ice bucket and how much I’d like to empty it over my head… Look at the “Feel” section:
One hour later: I think I’ll have a cold beer now…
Three hours later: It is cooling down, sort of…
So what have I been doing so far? I’ve done some serious hanging out. I don’t mean reading a book or anything. I mean SERIOUS hanging out, doing nothing, thinking of nothing, waiting for the day to pass by. I flew in from Auckland – I stayed there just for the night (thinking how much I’d loved to stay in NZ). I probably was a bit wistful. I left Auckland on Wednesday morning, 18 February. Now here’s the weird thing: I landed 4h later at Papeete airport, Tahiti, on Tuesday, 17 February. Crossing the date line really is bizarre. I still can’t get the days straight. It was pouring with rain when we left the plane over the gangway. After all, it’s still rainy season. But the rain vanished as soon as it came and it hasn’t been raining ever since the first day. Europeans get their own line through the passport control and no stamp in their passport. Feels strange to sort of entering the EU so far from home (technically, French Polynesia does not belong to the EU, but its citizens are French, so it is EUish).
I caught the 5pm ferry to Moorea, Tahiti’s “little sister” and am now staying at a Family B&B, meaning that the guesthouse is on the same ground and next door to the owners family and his brothers family. Even though M. , a Canadian guy staying here, and me crave for spending some time in an airconditioned room at one of the beautiful (but very pricy) resorts once in a while, I am glad to stay where the real people are and to get a glimpse of how they live (surfing at the reef is a very important part – apparently there are some of the worlds best waves breaking along the reefs surrounding the islands).
Yesterday afternoon I took a bike ride along the road. The newer parts even have a bikeline, but the crappy parts have no tarmac and countless potnoles. The people are incredibly friendly. They remind me of the Malawians in that they waved at me, shouting a happy “Bonjour” along my way.
This morning we did a 4×4 tour with the owner around the island:
Tonight, we’ve had fresh Mahi Mahi from the local fish market (actually its just a small shop) for dinner. Luckily M. rented a Vespa – it is quite far and there is virtually no public transport.