Tahiti and Rarotonga

arriving at RarotongaI haven't been posting on this blog recently because I've been in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands collecting information for a new edition of one of my books. Internet access in Tahiti is very expensive at around US$1 for five minutes, so I've been falling behind in answering email as well.

I'd hoped to attend the Heiva i Tahiti festival in Papeete but the three nights I booked were rained out. Finally, on my last night in French Polynesia, the skies cleared and I saw a spectacular show. A pity I missed the three other nights, and there were no refunds on cancelled shows!

The Moorea Club Med is still closed and I doubt if it will ever reopen. Nothing is happening there and the former resort is crumbling into ruins. Huahine is another island of failed resorts. The Bali Hai Hotel closed years ago, and I was surprised to find the Huahine Sofitel also closed. The only really upscale resort still operating on Huahine is the Te Tiare Beach Resort, although I guess you could call the Relais Mahana upscale.

Lots and lots of small bungalow hotels with only one or two units are popping up around Rarotonga. The most interesting new development I noticed on Raro is Aquarius Rarotonga across the road from the airport. The place is almost finished and should open soon in the flashpacker category. It's got a nice pool but - as elsewhere on the north side of Rarotonga - the beach is fairly unswimmable. The Nu Bar across the street (and right reside the airport) currently has a great NZ$10 steak special!

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