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French Polynesia - Tahiti and Moorea (October 2013)
After traveling for 4 months in rather coldish countries French Polynesia was our first stop where it was really really warm (and very humid).

French Polynesia consists of uncountable islands with the capital island Tahiti with its capital Papeete. The first day we rented a car together with 2 other travelers and explored the island. The next morning we left the hostel at 4:30 AM to see the sunrise on the other side of the island.
Sunrise on the east coast of Tahiti
Sunrise on the east coast of Tahiti
In Tahiti they have an early-rhythm. However we were surprised by the huge amount of traffic even in the very early morning. To be honest we were a bit disappointed of Tahiti. The heavy traffic in the north and the very urban capital-region resulted in a loss of the tropical-island-feeling you would expect. This all changed when we took a ferry to the next island...

Moorea was beautiful, peaceful and very laid-back. It was as beautiful as a post-card-tropical-island. Nice beaches, lots of palm-trees, crystal-clear water and many many fish. We went swimming / snorkeling and besides seeing many colorful fishes we snorkeled with sting-rays and friendly sharks which was a very impressive experience. The sting-rays were very curious and swam to us and we could even touch them.
snorkeling with sting-rays and sharks
Another day we hiked to a view-point in the middle of the island with a wonderful view over the island and 2 bays. The way back from the viewpoint was through a very impressive tropical forest and after leaving the forest we suddenly stood in a very big field of pineapples - it's so wonderful to see how all these delicious fruits grow during our travel.

Besides we relaxed a lot on the beach, had wonderful conversations with many travelers, swam in the ocean (which was sometimes so warm it wasn't even refreshing anymore... we know... those are serious first-world-travel-problems ;-) and enjoyed the sunset every evening at the beach at our hostel.
Sunset on Moorea at our hostel
Sunset on Moorea at our hostel
more photos in the gallery

Internet is insanely expensive on Tahiti - approx. 5 Euro for 1 hour.
Hitch-hiking worked really well in French Polynesia. We even hitch-hiked to the airport at 4AM in the morning