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!
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