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Travel | Honeymoonin’

Personal , March 20, 2011

Ever had a steak that was so good, so mind-blowing, that you can’t help but compare it to every steak you have from that point forwards? I hear this a lot from people who have gone organic and can’t go back.ย  Well, the whole time I was in Punta Cana, I couldn’t help but compare it to French Polynesia … and it wasn’t much of a competition.

I realized I never posted photos of our honeymoon in French Polynesia and now is no better a time than any, right when we’ve had enough of winter and all the snow.

We definitely wanted our honeymoon to be special, so we went all out, yet still keeping to a decent budget. We traveled during low season (November) where prices were cut in half, but the weather was still perfect. Sofitel even had great stay 2 nights, get the third free. Food was outrageously expensive, so we made good use of the included breakfasts and made sandwiches with supplies from the grocery store. [we even stashed some Ramen noodles in our suitcase; believe me when I tell you it tastes better when in an overwater bungalow].

We could only afford a 1 week stay, but we definitely made the best of the short visit.

Our stops included 1 night in Tahiti, 3 in Moorea, and 3 in Bora Bora.

Some sights from our flight to LA

Panoramic view of the Sofitel Moorea Resort
In Moorea we had a fantastic beach front bungalow. The ocean was a few feet from our door. We tried to snorkel on our first day and was surprised by the amount and variety of tropical fish we could find right off the beach shoreline. We didn't have to pay for any expensive excursions to find a good snorkeling spot. They were everywhere!
This was the morning view from our bed. Didn't even have to get up to see the sunrise. Just took a picture then went back to sleep.

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
Moorea is a fantastic island with lots of wildlife, mountain peaks, and agriculture. We're not the type of people that like to sit around on a beach all day. We rented a car from a ghetto shack and took a drive around the two bays, stopped by some farms (papaya, pineapples, mangos, etc), went up the mountain, and picked up some street food.

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
When you arrive in the French Polynesia airport, you will immediately notice a sweet smell in the air. It's the Tiare flower (right) and it has become our favourite flower. It has the greatest smell and the whole island is covered with it so everything just smells so pleasant.
Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
Of course the island is also filled with fantastic sea creatures that you can get up close and personal with.

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
Flying to our last island, Bora Bora, in the smallest airplane ever, probably holding 15 seats. I was able to sit at the front, which was close enough to touch the pilot. I felt like I was flying this thing!

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
The overwater bungalows were magnificent!

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
For our only tour excursion, we decided to feed stingrays and sharks. We didn't just feed them from the boat, we went into the water with them. The singrays were all over us. We didn't want to provoke the sharks, so we didn't interact with them directly, but we were often close enough to touch them. It was terrifying, but apparently they are fed so well here that they don't care about humans. Lucky us ๐Ÿ™‚

Some up close and personal photos from our underwater camera.

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
Afterwards our tour guide took us to a secluded island to have some fresh local fruit. The island didn't have a single tourist in sight (not that there were many all around the island) and had the finest white sand I have ever seen. It was like walking on flour.

Local Tahiti fire dance during dinner.

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
The best part of Bora Bora is that the coral reefs block off the waves, resulting in calm crystal clear water. Also, the water is so shallow, you can walk 100 meters out and still be above water. Here, Julie is out about 50 meters and sitting down (the water was less than a foot high).

Montreal Photographer Sofitel French Polynesia Honeymoon
Time to say goodbye and head to the airport.

French Polynesia was the greatest place on earth and although expensive, if you plan correctly it can be done on a budget, so don’t count it out of your vacation plans.ย  I can’t imagine a place with better water and beach, snorkeling and scuba diving, yet still not overcrowded with too many obnoxious tourists. Peace and calm, just the way a vacation should be.

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