This photograph was taken on our honeymoon in 2004. Located in the South Pacific, Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. It’s 2,700 miles from Hawaii and 3,500 miles from Australia.
Travelling to Tahiti the day after our wedding probably wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever had. But we weren’t to know our flight would be grounded just before take-off due to failed air conditioning!
Our airport welcome was like no other – it was a very happy place. There singing, dancing and garlands of tropical flowers were placed around our necks. Tahitians and visitors to the country are often seen with a flower in their hair too. It’s a tradition that if you’re single you wear a flower behind your right ear and if you’re spoken for it’s the left.
Our first stop was Tikehau in the Tuamotu Islands which is described as one of the Pacific’s best kept secrets. A beautiful beach bungalow that overlooked low-lying atolls was home for the first few days. We chilled, we snorkeled and we ate. It was our chance to slow down after a hectic few weeks and the perfect start to our honeymoon.
The Society Islands, which include Tahiti itself, are lush and mountainous – a complete contrast to the tranquility of the Tuamoto Islands. Beaches are lined with palm trees and the turquoise lagoons are crystal clear. Moorea (Mo’orea) was formed as a volcano several million years ago and is the result of a geologic hotspot in the mantle under the oceanic plate.
Our accommodation in Moorea was an overwater bungalow with direct access into the lagoon. There you could feed the fish that darted about your legs with bread that was left by staff. At night you’d see fish swimming underneath your coffee table through a glass panel in the floor.
The two restaurants and bar served us well. One evening we got the opportunity to experience a Tahitian dance. A colourful show that mesmerised its audience with fast paced dancing and thunderous drums. The POD Father was one of the lucky visitors invited to join in!
One night we ventured out of the resort for dinner. During our walk to the restaurant we saw the ground was littered with numerous holes around ten inches in diameter. We didn’t know what they were so we crept really slowly for a time. They were crabs – giant land crabs. Hundreds of them would simultaneously dart into the ground when they sensed you approach. We ate on resort after that!
Swimming with sharks and stingrays was our most memorable excursion. The sharks were fed while we were in the water and although slightly nerve wracking it was amazing. Stingrays are beautiful creatures – quite calming to watch. Another trip out saw us travel by jeep up the mountains. It was a hairy journey, terrifying at times, but the panoramic views from the peak were outstanding. We were rewarded by the guide in a local brewery who made us drink c.10 shots one after the other!
Tahiti is the most amazing country and the people there are wonderful. It was a truly memorable honeymoon.
We’re linking this post up with What’s The Story?, a weekly Linky that enables you to share the stories behind your photographs. The Linky for w/c 27th January 2014 is here.
Also joining The Gallery at Sticky Fingers where the prompt for this week is Rewind.