Sunday, 19 March 2017

Monday, March 13 – Our return to Huahine (PPT to HUH)

Today we were up at 6:30 AM. April didn’t sleep badly, but Bill’s cold had turned into a terrible cough and he was up quite a bit. Bill also found the roosters crowing in the early morning annoying, but April didn’t mind it.

We packed and April ran over to the bank machine near to the hotel to try and get more money out. She was only successful with one card and again, only a small amount. We continued to feel confused as to why bank machines wouldn’t accept any of our cards, or if they would, would only dispense amounts nowhere near our daily limits.

Bill checked-out of the Hotel Sarah Nui. We found the hotel to be clean and comfortable. Our only point of confusion was that they said on the website that there was a one way shuttle ride available for free. When we inquired about this, the front desk clerk told us that it had to be from the airport to the hotel and could not be in the opposite direction. Since no one told us this, we took a cab from the airport to the hotel and then had to pay for one to return to the airport.

We took a taxi to the Faa’a International Airport. While there, we tried to get cash out of the previously reluctant ATM… we were unsuccessful as the machine remained as tight lipped as a black lipped oyster (common to these waters.)

We checked in for our flight with Air Tahiti (the domestic carrier, not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui, the international carrier). While waiting for our flight, we bought a mini-baguette and butter and had that to eat for breakfast to supplement the mini-bananas and protein bar we had at the hotel.
We boarded our flight to Huahine (HUH), after clearing security. It’s funny to do security for such a small flight. This is definitely a change from the old days of flying. On the positive side, check-in for Air Tahiti was far less chaotic than it was 9 years ago. There were only two flights departing and they have implemented electronic check-in kiosks.

At the airport.

The flight to Huahine stopped in Mo’orea, then carried on to Huahine (the seats cleared in Mo'orea were soon filled by new passengers going to either Huahine or Bora Bora- we stayed in our seats while this passenger swapping occurred), where we disembarked, before finally flying on to Bora Bora. A note about Air Tahiti flights- they do not have assigned seats. It's first come, first serve and they try to get people to go to the front first.

On our Air Tahiti flight.

These are symbols used in Polynesia to represent various things such as mountainous islands and atolls. This was on the bulkhead of the plane we were in.

At the Huahine airport, a friend of our host by the name of Marc picked us up, as Teps’ car had broken down. He took us to the Pension Meherio, where we stayed for 6 nights during our honeymoon and were staying again this time around.

We caught up with Teps (the owner) and then went to put our bags in our room. We walked along the beach, near the pension as this is the fastest way to get to the town of Fare. It was very hot and humid. We walked around Fare for a bit and then settled on the Restaurant Huahine Yacht Club where we had had several meals last time we were in Huahine.

Our lunch of fish burgers, fries, and cold drinks was made all the more charming by a little tortoiseshell cat who sat beside our table and begged for scraps. Since she let April pet her, the experience was even more special.


We walked around Fare, which is very small, to see the various tourist shops, but didn’t find anything to buy. We went to the bank, Banque de Tahiti, and at the ATM our cards didn’t work. Since it was a Monday, we were actually able to go into the bank and ask why our cards would not work. The lady in the bank told us that the machine out front of the bank did not take any Canadian cards, including debit and credit cards and that is why we could not get any money out. She suggested that we head over to the Banque Socredo, which has an ATM that would accept Canadian cards.

We walked to the Banque Socredo (on the block behind the main strip of Fare that goes along the water) and tried to get money out of the ATM there. We were successful with one debit card, but the credit cards that we had put money onto so that we could take money off of them while away would not work. We went inside and the bank teller was able to withdraw a small amount of cash from two of the credit cards that did not work in the machine. Due to restrictions from our banks on how much we could take out per day, we knew that we would have to return to the bank to withdraw more cash, however we were relieved to have found a bank that would allow us to withdraw sufficient cash to pay for pensions, meals, and excursions where credit cards were not accepted.

We went to the Super Fare grocery store after our bank adventure and bought a few provisions. We of course, forgot to bring our reusable bag, so we had to buy a plastic bag to take our stuff back to the pension.

We were really hot and tired after our trip into Fare and after walking back to the pension along the beach we changed into swimsuits and walked the very short distance to the beach in front of the pension.

We snorkeled for a couple of hours and tried out our new GoPro Hero 5 underwater. There are so many beautiful and colourful fish and the coral has so many different colours. It is hard to capture nature’s beauty, however (even with the red filter that Bill bought for the GoPro for underwater photography).

We returned to the pension, showered, dressed, and left to walk back to Fare. This time we took the land route behind the pension instead of the beach route in front of the pension. Either route is quite short as Pension Meherio is very conveniently located.

View from the beach by our pension.

We had dinner at a little Roulette that we found along the main road in Fare. We were both going to have grilled chicken and fries, however they only had one portion of chicken left. So, Bill had steak-frites instead. Between the heat and the foetus occupying precious space in April’s torso, she could not eat very much of the dinner, but it was very good.

Our phones said it was 28 degrees at about 8:00 PM when we had dinner. It was beautiful as we walked back to the pension along the beach, looking up at the abundant stars. The Milky Way is clearly visible here due to a lack of light pollution. The stars are much brighter and more visible, so you can see what you’ve been missing back where you’ve been living.

At the pension, we showered again and prayed for it to cool off. It was incredibly humid and the air was extremely close. But, one can’t complain too much when one is in Huahine, which is a lush verdant paradise with a laid back speed of living, turquoise water in which to swim, where there are two lovely little cats at the pension where you are staying.

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