Brief update: Last half of South Pacific Holiday

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I never did post any more after we left Mo’orea for Tahiti. What an amazing trip we had. I will do a small update about the rest of the trip then I plan to do some posts going into more detail about the areas we visited. The first update I did left off with us flying from Rarotonga to Tahiti. We landed in Tahiti and picked up our rental car and ate at a small cafe in the airport since the Airport Motel didn’t do food and we only had a two minute drive to the motel. I won’t recall the meal because in a matter of two hours I started feeling sick. It seems to be a reaction to my medication. I took the same medication years ago and the same thing used to happen. I refused to believe it had anything to do with the medication back then. But the sickness stopped when I stopped taking it. Fast forward 9 years and six months after starting the med the sickness starts. I digress. I was sick for hours and hours, up pretty much all night. The following morning I managed an hour or so of sleep before we had to get going to the ferry over to Mo’orea. It was a quick 30 minute ferry ride. I slept upright during the journey.

After landing on Mo’orea with the rental car we had to find our rental house. The owner was waiting for us at the house in the rain. Even in the rain it was beautiful. We handed over $1300AUD cash for a deposit. I actually fell asleep on the sofa whilst she was showing Tom around the house and how to operate everything. We spent the next five days exploring Mo’orea. Fabulous is all I can say. Sofia actually told me that when she grows up she wants to learn French so she can live on Mo’orea and have her babies there. So funny. It did rain off and on the first couple of days but brightened up for the last two and a half. I could live there. It is a tropical island, but also a French department. We found the big Champion store and had a ball looking at all of the French stuff we remembered. I want to go back some day!

Our last day we checked out of the house, retrieving all of our deposit, and took the ferry back over to Tahiti. Sofia started with motion sickness on the ferry but Tom managed to catch her in time to get fresh air and splash some cool water on her. Once on Tahiti we decided to jump right in and circumnavigate Tahiti Nui, the big island. Tahiti-Iti is does not have roads all the way around, but you can go down each coastline part way. On Tahiti we saw a waterfall, ate street food, went to the markets and other interesting things. As much as I liked Tahiti, Mo’orea was better, by far, in my book.

From Tahiti (1:20am flight) we went on to Christchurch, New Zealand. It was not fun flying at that hour. Not one bit.

We spent three nights in Hanmer Springs north of Christchurch. It is an area surrounded by mountains with hot springs, just lovely. Our last night was spent at Hanmer Springs Thermal Baths. We all loved it. The last pool we managed (due to heat and kids) was a sulphur bath. Stinky! We also managed to get to Kaikoura on the coast. The next two night we spent on the Banks Peninsula in a little town with French history called Akaora. By this time the holiday blues were kicking in. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a great time. Tom had come down with something and was exhausted. We did manage to visit a few shops, play at the park and then have a nice dinner the first night. The second day we went driving on the peninsula on tiny curvy, hilly roads and went down to Le Bons Beach where we walked along the beach at low tide and then found a park with a zip line. Whee!

Our flight home didn’t leave until 4 in the afternoon the last day so our plan was to see the little town of Lyttleton and then go into Christchurch to have a look around before going to the airport. Bad idea. It left me feeling quite sad. A year on from the earthquakes and I am completely amazed at the level of destruction and ruin still abundant. I will share some photos in another post of Christchurch. The entire city centre is completely blocked off. We even saw a military checkpoint letting vehicles in and out. Sad, so so sad.

Flight home was great. Alex was a bit of a handful but he is just about two and really hasn’t given us trouble on any other flights. He was bashing the iPod around shouting NO DORA, NO SID, NO GUPPIES. He was also standing up shouting NO SEATBELT. It was lovely. Sofia behaved herself and so did Tom. Alex fell asleep with ten minutes to go. That meant I had to carry him, all 16 kilos of him, through the airport to immigration once we landed in Sydney. He woke up once I stopped walking. At least I got some exercise after getting very little the past three weeks.

All-in-all it was a fabulous holiday. It was probably one of the more expensive holidays ever, but not something done often. To be honest we decided to not even add it up…just to pay the credit card bill and not look at what cash we took out. Five of the seven flights were booked with miles which helped with the cost a bit. We also did mostly self-catering accommodation to reduce the cost of meals. We made our own breakfast daily sometimes supplemented with a trip to the local bakery on our way out to some activity. Often times we had sandwiches for lunch and even cooked many evening meals ourselves. Tom and I did manage one meal out by ourselves at the Sofitel Resort in Mo’orea. A French couple came to the house so we could go out for some fine dining. It did not disappoint. I nearly had to be rolled out of there.

Look for more detailed posts coming soon about each area, including photos. I do have a Flickr site for the photos if you want to have a look. Tom basically posted all of our photos so there are loads. South Pacific 2012

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