One night, Carl was drunk.
We were at a fundraising event sitting at a table of 10 and while I was busy chatting to everyone at the table, Carl was wandering around the room knocking back a few reds.
Just before the entertainment walked onto the stage, it was announced that the Silent Auction was now closed and the auctioneer read out the names of the successful bidders. As I hadn’t placed any bids I was pretty stunned when I heard my name called as having successfully bid on a trip to Tahiti. That was when Carl returned to the table and let me know that in between drinks he had written my name down on just about every bidding sheet. Fortunately there were many other drunks furiously scribbling down their wives names so we only ended up having to pay for the trip to Tahiti.
A few weeks later Carl and I were at the airport and on our way to Papeete. We flew in at around midnight and as we walked across the tarmac we had the most amazing welcome with Tahitian singers serenading us with beautiful traditional songs.
We stayed on the main island so it was only a short drive from the airport to our hotel. The hotel had been built in the 1960′s which is a decade not known for any outstanding architectural achievements so the room was boxy but comfortable.
We woke to a beautiful sunny day and went down to breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. We sat at a table overlooking the stunning beach and I felt like I’d never been in a setting so close to how I imagined paradise.
After breakfast we thought we’d recline around the pool but it was full of Tahitian children playing games and laughing and having so much fun we retreated to the beach. I lay down in a hammock slung between two coconut palms and by now knew for sure I was experiencing a touch of paradise.
The next day the pool area was quiet with very few people and there wasn’t a child to be seen. They were all at school. The children who had been swimming the day before were the children of the staff working at the hotel. And why not bring your children to work with you and allow them a day in the pool!
The weather is so warm that we would find ourselves still out by the pool or in the hammock at around 8pm at night. I was so relaxed I couldn’t be bothered moving. We’d stay down by the water to watch the most beautiful sunsets. It was wonderful to be somewhere where you could experience amazing sunsets because living on the East coast of Australia we can see beautiful sunrises (if you can surface that early) but never sunsets.
One day we caught a ferry over to the island of Moorea which is a short commute from Papeete. Many locals live on Moorea and commute to work each day on the main island. We hired a car and drove around the Pineapple Road that takes you along the edge of the Island. We stopped at some of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen, all deserted, with incredibly warm turquoise water and fine, white velvety sand. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful place.
The downside of Tahiti is that everything is so expensive. Apparently Tahiti is bankrupt and is propped up financially by France. Just about everything has to be imported and the island doesn’t export much except for what’s made in the pineapple factory on Moorea and they grow and export the best vanilla beans you have ever seen or tasted. They do make and export their own beer, Hinano, with the iconic Tahitian girl on the bottle. Beer wasn’t too expensive.
Carl didn’t get drunk in Tahiti, he couldn’t afford to. All wines are imported and while Australia and New Zealand are both geographically close and have great wines to export, almost all wines are imported from that nation on the other side of the world, France. With all that travel involved it is probably no wonder a glass of wine costs around $25.00. Carl certainly wasn’t knocking back the reds in French Polynesia. I switched from wine to gin and tonic because they cost $15.00, a bargain by comparison.
But you don’t go to Tahiti to shop or get inebriated, you go to experience the French Polynesian people and their culture and to admire the beauty of their land.
I would love to relive my memories of Tahiti.
NRMA Insurance is giving you the opportunity to relive one of your favourite memories and to assist you, they’re going to give one lucky subscriber, $50,000 cash. All you have to do is enter the Renewal Reminders promotion.
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This competition is open to those residing in Australia only.
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