Tahiti – Paradise Lost?

Moorea Island in the distance; the view from our hotel in Tahiti

A welcoming view from our hotel. The island of Moorea (our next stop) can be seen in the distance.

They say getting there is half the fun.  “They” haven’t traveled through LAX at midnight.  Los Angeles International Airport is like a reverse Disneyland.  The happy, helpful characters in cute costumes at Disney have been replaced by grumpy ‘characters’ in disheveled costumes who dispense unhelpful advice and wrong directions at every turn.  The hundreds of ‘guests’ waiting patiently in line for thrilling rides at Disney transform into hundreds of ‘passengers’ who have turned waiting into a contact sport for rides that are sure to be thrilling for all the wrong reasons. If getting there is half the fun, we’re in trouble.

At 5:15 AM, our plane touches down in Papeete, the largest city on the island of Tahiti.  It’s still dark and the night time breezes lure us off the plane with their tropical scent.  (I wrote that sentence to make myself feel better.  When we stepped off the plane onto an unprotected stairway with shaky handrails, we were met with 85 degree air, 95 percent humidity, a blast of jet fuel and a little Tahitian dancer and her ukelele’d accompanist.  We inched down the stairs, juggling all of our carry-on luggage.  Walking on sleep-deprived legs. And  still wearing winter clothes.  Disney should make THIS a ride.)

While waiting endlessly for the four desultory passport control agents to clear the passengers on 2 jumbos that arrived simultaneously, we gingerly (and forcefully) tried to clear a path for a rather large crab that was insistent on biting people shoes.  Welcome to Tahiti!

We’re only spending one day in Tahiti, based on everyone’s (good) advice.  To wile away the nine (!) hours til we could check into our hotel, we booked an island tour that hits the five highlights of the island.  I won’t list them here – the pictures will more than suffice.  Seven sweating, frizzy haired, shiny-faced travelers boarded a mobile oven (sorry, I meant  ‘bus’) for the three hour tour.  (It was actually a four hour tour, but you do remember that phrase from the ominous theme song to “Gilligan’s Island”, don’t you?)  Thankfully, one of our fellow passengers was an avidly curious grade school teacher with ADD.  I don’t need to spell that out, do I?

The day was ultimately redeemed by the views from our room at the Intercontinental Resort Tahiti (highly recommended if you’re a person who enjoys bad service) and a romantic dinner at Le Lotus, located on a jetty where we watched baby shark scurry for breadcrumbs in the underwater lighted bay.

The introduction to our hotel

Marc was our second welcoming view on Tahiti. His friendly smile more than made up for our overnight travel woes.



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7 Responses to Tahiti – Paradise Lost?

  1. Alice April 13, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Both pictures make it seem like you landed in paradise despite the reality of your journey. Let’s hope the rest of the trip actually is like paradise for a few days.

  2. Linda April 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Nothing like LAX to get off to a “wonderful” start! The bright side is you have no where to go but up…..even though you’re going down….whatever. Have fun!

  3. Vic April 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    more pictures please – great narrative

    • Elaine Haydock April 14, 2013 at 2:25 am #

      Vic, the next two posts are for you!

  4. Gabriele April 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Was it Marc’s smile or his pecs?! Seriously, the view from the hotel does look like paradise.

  5. Sherree April 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Looks like paradise to me, nearly a foot of snow for us on Thursday this past week. Wishing you a wonderful time, fun to follow along and see these great pics!

  6. Morgan April 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks for the giggles. It does LOOK beautiful, but you are now my “bucket list” reality-check!!! Miss you, but love that I can keep keep up here.

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