23h00 – Landing – Saturday – Maeva- I am finally in Papeete – 28°
I have just flown for the first time of my life with Air Tahiti Nui. I have the opportunity to discover French Polynesia for 6 months and join the travel agency Moana Voyages for an internship.
Two airlines offer a connection from Paris to Papeete: Air Tahiti Nui and Air France. I have already flown many times with Air France but never with Air Tahiti Nui. Beyond the price difference, the idea to be already immersed in a Tahitian Atmosphere directly in the plane seduces me… I have made my choice, I will fly with the white flower airline!
My trip from Lyon to Paris is done by train (TGV), without any delay (miracle!) and the cost is included in my total flight fares (double miracle!)
Once in Paris CDG, the hostesses welcome and inform me. They look very nice, and even more when they turn a blind eye on the few extra kilos I have in my luggage…The airline allows a 23 kilos checked luggage and a free extra one if it holds a sports or diving equipment. Perfect, I can bring with me my diving equipment! Here I come, lagoons, multicolor fishes, dolphin and whales…
Several magazines and two books in my handbag, candies in my pocket: I am ready to travel the many hours separating me from Tahiti… 20 hours of flight with a 2 hours stopover to be exact.
It is finally boarding time. As soon as I step in the plane, a steward offers me the small white flower iconic from Tahiti: the Tiare. A kind attention that sets the tone of this wonderful journey! Same thing with the hostesses’ uniforms, beautiful local dresses with colorful flowers. With a happy face, I look for my seat, listening to the ukulele music playing in the aircraft… That is it, the Spirit of Tahiti got me!
The aircraft, an Airbus, is full. Nothing really surprising as I am travelling during school holidays. Some passengers will stop their trip in Los Angeles
but most of us will travel all the way to Tahiti. My seat has an entertainment screen: movies, music albums, documentaries on Polynesia Islands. I loved watching the different films about Tahiti, it gave a sneak peek of paradise!
During the flight, 2 meals are served on board, a mix of Polynesian and French cuisine. I tasted for the first time Polynesian flavors, and it is was great experience.
In case hunger strikes, and for the great pleasure of the food lover I am, ice creams are in self-service at the back of the aircraft…lucky me!
After 11h30 of flight, we stop in Los Angeles. Time to take all of our personal stuff and to go through American immigration. It is also time to stretch out our legs!
Back in the plane, just 8h30 to go… Ii will go quite fast after all, between meals, naps, movies and reading, Tahiti has never been so close!
The outside temperature is 28°. A captivating scent of Tiare flowers, a Polynesian band and a dancer welcome us. Yes I am tired, exhausted to be honest, but what a thrill to discover this atmosphere. My on-site contact welcomes me with a traditional flower lei. Yes, it deserved the long trip…
I am finally ready to meet the nice team of Moana Voyages!