Day 1,881 of Traveling the World | Tahiti, French Polynesia | March 28, 2023

In a “professional” review of the island of Tahiti, a writer commented that two days in Tahiti are more than enough to see everything! We suppose that if your goal is to tick off boxes of attractions, as if you were in Paris, that might be true, but that is not the reason to visit Tahiti! Fellow travelers we met in the hotel have asked, “what all have you seen?” But Tahiti is a place to just be, to relax, lazily watch the boats, jet skis, and hang gliders enjoy the water sports in front of your eyes. It is for laying out at the pool, being hot, splashing around a bit in the pool, and then having a cold drink. It is a place to be leisurely. Our photos tell this story, as they are almost all of the ocean, although we did rent a scooter for a few days when we weren’t able to find a car to rent.

The one thing they told us at the rental agency was that scooters aren’t allowed on the highway – all 3 miles of it in front of the airport – and yet, and yet – we found ourselves on the highway! Normally we would follow Waze on our phone and stay out of such situations, but the screen was hard to see in the full South Pacific sun, and it was hard to hear the guide through the helmets and over the traffic. Mike, who was steering, could swear at times the app just kept alternately saying, “Turn right!” and “Turn left!” So, without warning, we were on the highway.

It was terrifying – cars were zipping by at 60-70 mph, and the fastest we could go on the electric scooter part of the time was 15 mph, as it was uphill. So we hugged the shoulder, which was narrow and filled with vegetation, and tried to stay out of the main traffic lanes. We took the first exit we could, and we were never so happy. We could have gotten ticketed or smooshed by a car, but neither happened, thank God.

On the second day of our rental, we wanted to circumnavigate the island, which we estimated would take 2-3 hours, as it is a distance of 72 miles. And, that much time on a scooter is about as long as you would want to ride. Electric scooters are pretty slow, though, so off we went – and it took FIVE hours. Talk about saddle sore! Halfway, our battery was down to about 60 percent, so we stopped at an affiliated gas station for them to swap it out for a new one, no fees involved. So far, so good.

We think we got some older batteries in our swap, because just another quarter way around the island we noticed the battery power draining at a precipitous rate. It got down to 7 percent going up a hill, and we barely made it to the top. As we were trying to get the number to call “Hello Scoot,” a worker from the store came walking up to us with replacement batteries! Mike never called – apparently the scooter sends out an SOS to the rental company when the battery gets low. Then the company finds you on GPS, and sends a man with replacement batteries. One minute later, we were ready to rock and roll. It was astounding to us that our problem was solved so quickly! We are heading back to the neighboring island of Moorea for a week, where, for the entire time, we have rented – a car!

View from the veranda of the Hilton, where we sit every morning after breakfast. There is always a breeze to offset the humidity.
Just beyond the swimming pool…..
…the clouds are always moving out at the horizon.
The restaurant is built out over the water – this coral is just beneath us, with fish swimming around that blend in with the rocks and coral.
Our cute electric scooter – it indeed is silent! It makes no noise whatsoever. When we rented we asked the Hello Scoot company if they ever had any problems with the scooters being stolen. You can see from our story above that they know where their scooters are at all times. No need to worry.
On the west coast of Tahiti.
People were swimming wherever there was a beach.
You can never get enough of that water!
Some of the beaches have trees that lend a little shade.
The South Pacific Ocean and the clouds make great partners.
…and again!
It is rainy season here. Looking inward from the ocean, the clouds were dark around the mountains. But the rain was infrequent and usually lasted only about 10 minutes.
The previous photo is just behind these picknickers, but no black clouds appear over the water.
By late afternoon, the tide was gently receding.
The water here is usually several colors of blue as you look out.
As you can see in this photo and the next, the trees bend more and more over many years, pushed by the wind.
This whole mountainside of trees bends! We thought it looked a lot like Jurassic Park.
View from the Hilton veranda at sunset.
Good night to another perfect day.

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