The first amazing event occurred when Trish and I got accepted to house/pet sit in Tahiti. It was just an encounter with a French-speaking couple last year in New Zealand. Now, we are family. Planes from New Zealand to Papeete (capital) do not fly every day, so we found that we had six days with two people we had barely met! We decided that, when possible, we would take off on our own and give each party some time to themselves. We didn’t need it. From the moment M & R put beautiful coloured leis around our neck and we hugged, we knew that this happy couple would be welcoming and understanding.
Arriving in Moorea by Ferry
We are actually house-sitting in Moorea (sounds like Mar-ia). When the ferry came closer to the island, we could see the lush tropical vegetation. In the distance, huge mountain with clouds around them, dazzled us with magical thoughts. The first drive was through villages dotted with cafes, restaurants, black pearl outlets and brightly coloured fabrics (towels, sarongs, etc). It was very hot and humid. We knew that it would take a few days to acclimatize.
Beaches and Snorkelling
Like the postcards and travel shows, Tahiti and Moorea have fantastic white sandy beaches. An incredible and unique feature is the reachable coral. Just walk into the warm water and wade out to the coral. We brought our snorkelling gear and soon we saw at least ten different types of fish. Our hosts assured us that at the same spot, we might see mantra rays and dolphins.
There are so many unexpected or unusual things to see in French Polynesia. Our bed has netting over it – like an medieval bed. It is a high structure that is hung from the ceiling. It is necessary as there are mosquitoes, particularly at night.
It is the rainy season. At the bottom of our driveway is a small stream that the car can drive over. Imagine our surprise when we came back one day and had to leave the car at the other side. We waded through with our groceries. It was wonderfully cool on this hot day.
Night time comes quickly. In this month of February, it is dark around 7 pm. Morning comes even quicker with the sound of roosters at around 4 am. The night sounds are different. The clacking sound comes from geckoes who are on the roof and walls of the veranda. They are very shy creatures and keep away from us. There are no dangerous snakes on these islands, but we did meet a woman who told us about a stone-fish incident. One of her party had stepped on this creature which resulted in horrific pain. It is a venenous creature.
Paradise can be achievable. You might wish to try this house/pet sitting assignments. paula