Information about my trip
I flew from Europe with with an
AOM direct flight from Paris Orly and a 1 hour technical stop to Los Angeles; to the return being the airplane half empty I had to disposition a line of seats all for me.
On september 2001 AOM changed name to Air Lib and from 28 march 2002 stopped the
flights to Papeete.
To Get around trough the islands I bought the Air Tahiti Bora Tuamotu pass.
For limited budget travelers and with a lot of time to disposition, considering that the fast ferry Ono-Ono has gone definitely off duty the only solution are the ships freighter-passengers Vaeanu (info page ) and Aranui that connect the varied archipelagos with Tahiti.
The public transport on the islands (to exception of Tahiti) are practically nonexistent, the taxis
are very expensive (to Moorea fearfully), as the rental of the cars; it is quite
easy and safe to make hitchhiking.
To Moorea I found a very convenient agency that organizes pre-arranged (at fixed time) transfers to/from the airport: Mate & Loulou tel. 56.12.48 - 56.15.05.
The weather was one of my big worries before the departure considering that january-february is considered rainy season and that I received contrasting opinions, who said me to not worry and who signaled the possibility of hurricanes. Really the climate was exceptional in 20 days of trip, damp heat but always ventilated, 2 cloudy days (without rain) to Bora Bora, 1/2 day of rain (last to Papeete), for the rest rains during the night and some rainstorm no more than 15-30 minutes that didn't compromised the activities of the day.
The food is another voice that affect heavily the budget, all the lodgings in which I stayed had kitchens quite equipped, in the supermarkets can be found everything: baguette, fishes from the pacific ocean, the really good meat from New Zealand and even the spaghetti, so I cooked by myself; besides cooking there is the possibility to socialize with the other guests of the pensions. In the biggest villages can be eat discretly and economically to Les Roulottes: vans converted in the mobile kitchens, each Roulotte is specialized in a type of cooking: BBQ fish and meat, Chinese, pizza, crepes and sweets; Les Roulottes are very characteristics and at least once it is worth to try, to Papeete in the evening are found in the zone of the dock. The food have liked more: the raw fish in the coconut milk and the Mai Mai: a fish of the pacific ocean with the taste similar to the tuna; I also tasted the bread-fruit, the taste is similar to that of the potatoes, I liked a lot fried a little bit less boiled.
To exception of Papeete and some
big hotel the
entertainment practically noexist, in the evening after 9 there are no people
around, the only thing to do is to enjoy the quite atmosphere of the south seas. To Rangiroa
I dined in shore to the sea, fell asleep and woke up with the "noise" of the sea!!!!
PLACE TO STAY
I lodged exclusively in pensions, further being relatively
cheap the atmosphere is very familiar and there is the possibility to meet other
travelers. Traveling alone another worry was to find me in trough couples in honeymoon, really this type of
travelers stay apart in the big hotels, in the pensions I met so many travelers
from all over the world so I never felt alone.
The pensions normally have rooms for 2 or more persons, dormitories, often bungalow and camping sites; the price of the lodgings where I stayed was directly proportional to the quality.
The pensions where I stayed:
Moorea Camping: tel. 56.14.47 , dormitory 1000 XPF
it is the most famous backpackers-accommodation so it is preferable to book, I tried to send them an e-mail but they did not answer me and I was lucky to find a bed. It is found on the beautiful beach of Hauru Point, the reception is closed at noon, after 5 pm and the Sunday afternoon.
Chez Guynette: tel. 68.83.75 , dormitory 1600 XPF
also called ' Club bed', it's in the center of the Fare village, the atmosphere is very informal and the owner is very kind and available; accept credit cards.
Peter's Place: tel. 66.20.01, single 1200 XPF
as all the other accommodation of this level to Raiatea is found out (around 5 Km) from the village of Uturoa, the owner is very friendly.
Village Pauline: tel. 67.72.16, dormitory 2750 XPF
good accommodation, but half way between the village and Matira Point, the bungalows are dipped in a beautiful tropical garden; accept credit cards.
Rangiroa Lodge: tel. 96.82.13, dormitory 1800 XPF
the owners, Mrs Rofina and Mr. Jacques are really kind. The dormitory with 3 beds is a little bit small, me however was the only guest and therefore I had the whole structure for me. The lodging is found 5 mt from the shore of the sea on a coral-beach.
Chez Fifi: tel. 82.63.30, dormitory 1200 XPF
it's right across the road from the airport, the city center can be reached in 15 minutes with the frequent Le Truck.
The Franc Pacifique is at fixed rate to the French franc therefore is more convenient to bring French franc rather than US $. I had €uro travelers cheques, the bank inside the airport didn't want to change me while subsequently I had no problems to the Banques de Tahiti. The credit card is quite diffused and is possible to withdraw cash from the ATMs on all the islands to the exception of Rangiroa. The banknotes are very big and I had to fold up to put into the wallet!!!
good infos for independent travelers
info, travelogues and discussion forum
sub-travelogues and discussion forum
good infos for independent travelers
pensions and family hotel (In French)
info on all the Polynesian islands
Lonely Planet forum
South Pacific Travel Guides
Long trip through 7 pacific country (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Easter Island), interesting with useful links
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Copyright © 2001 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.