Papeete, French Polynesia
We have an early start today and our transfer is due at 6.45am. As we shower it is still dark so we don’t get a chance to see what the weather is like, however as we check out the sun has risen and it seems we have a cloudy but cooler day.
We board the minibus with the same young couple who arrived with us in Papeete seven days ago and discover they are from London and are heading to Australia for the final leg of their holiday.
We check in at Faaa International Airport with no problems and do some duty free shopping where we purchase some French champagne for our last night in Auckland. Deb spots a nice pair of Robert Wan black pearl earrings mounted in white gold with diamonds which we buy as a memento of Tahiti and as a Christmas present.
The wait at the airport departure terminal was interesting to say the least with nothing but ceiling fans to keep you cool, an open garden area filled with smokers and all announcements in French.
On boarding we have the same seats as those on the way over and our flight back to Auckland is full of French nationals heading to NZ for Christmas. The flight was reasonable however cabin service was not so good this time.
As we touched down in Auckland the weather was a lot better than when we left but it was still cool. We were greeted by a Chauffeur this time who transferred us to our accommodation in the city in an Audi A8. He was very chatty and took us on a scenic route instead of the freeway, however the trip was not without incident as we got caught up in a police pursuit with a possible stolen car heading towards us at speed on the wrong side of the road. Both cars ran the red light then disappeared in the distance.
Some thirty five minutes later we were dropped off in front of De Brett’s Hotel a boutique establishment in the trendy area of the city. The place was very bohemian and our room looked as if it had been styled by contestants on the TV series The Block, with all its art nervous furnishings and a very flashy bathroom. We both wondered why the room was fitted out with disabled aids but soon realised that the management probably thought we were somewhat old when they were informed by our travel agent that this was our 40th wedding anniversary.
We were both hungry having missed breakfast and lunch so we decided to head to the waterfront for a late meal. Unfortunately all the restaurants were booked out for Christmas work break-ups but we finally stumbled on a great little place called the Botswana Butchery that had just cleared a table. At last some good food at a reasonable price.
After lunch we went back to our room for a shower, changed our clothes and decided to
open our champagne which we had on ice. We then went down to the drawing room for a complementary cocktail before heading out for a night on the town. Well our night out ended up being an early one as all of the establishments were packet to the rafters so we decided to loose a little money at the Sky Casino then had a light bar snack in a boutique beer joint not far from our hotel.
On returning to our room we recounted our experiences to date as we watched a movie in bed and planed our up and coming family Christmas back home.
Hints – the chauffer service was well worth the effort and we would definitely recommend both the De Bretts Hotel and the Botswana Butchery if you find yourself in Auckland.