No sex in the islands of love
Sexy, but mostly for couples ... Tahiti. Photo: Holger Leue/Lonely Planet
Despite the sexy, debaucherous locals, Nicky Park fails to have a holiday fling in the South Pacific's islands of love.
From the moment I spotted the shirtless Polynesian man in the hotel lobby I knew I was going to like it here.
The humidity made his pecs all glossy. His white teeth looked even more perfect against his olive complexion.
And the French accent. Yum.
Even better, Tahiti appeared an untapped pool of sexy Polynesian goodness, with most Tahiti and Bora Bora holidaymakers being hooked up in their honeymoon "sweets".
As the winter took hold in my adopted homeland, New Zealand, my Aussie girlfriend and I were keen to catch up and get a hit of sunshine and sea water.
We met up in Auckland and flew to Papeete - where it's easy to confuse boys for ladies and champagne is $A25 a glass.
We headed straight out on the town to the colourful establishment, Piano Bar, a well known transvestite haunt.
Apparently Thursday night is big in Papeete, but on the Friday evening we were there, it was far from dull.
Girls flicked their skirts around on the dance floor, flashing their lacy knickers.
Boys sat on booths sipping the local Tahitian brew and one "woman" walked right up to us, admired her reflection in the mirror behind our heads, pulled down her dress to expose her breasts and performed a sexy dance.
Di and I are open minded, but being from out of town, we were somewhat astonished at the debaucherous behaviour. The locals we were with didn't bat an eyelid.
There was no sign of sexy shirtless Polynesian men like I'd spotted earlier that day so we headed home to kill the jetlag and prepare for a day of chilling pool side.
Greased up in sunblock we lay by the pool at Hotel Tahiti Nui for hours, gasbagging and cooling off by dipping in the water.
We'd scheduled in some girl time in Bora Bora - aka honeymooners' heaven.
I'd been before and caught glimpses of bare bums as loved up couples skinnydipped beneath the bungalows at moonlight.
My travel companion Di had left her hubby at home and I was flying solo, but we weren't going to be kept from the azure waters and white sand by the affectionate couples.
We sipped bubbly on the deck of our over-water bungalow at Le Meridien Tahiti, indulged in back massages, sat on the shore of the stunning waters and feasted on local seafood.
It was all very romantic for us two, straight girls.
Despite my first impression of the islands, I didn't spot any other eye candy on our trip - maybe it's too tempting to keep sexy staff around the newlyweds.
But my lack of holiday fling was a good thing - I don't think there would have been room in the four-poster bed for all of us.
Diana Plater offers her take on the trip:
It was a case of the revolving champagne bottle.
It seemed to go round and round in circles.
Nicky had been given a bottle at Auckland Airport when she bought herself an underwater camera (a very good thing to have in Bora Bora especially when planning to swim with turtles).
I also thought the bottle was a good buy, having heard about the high prices in Tahiti and French Polynesia generally (tales of honeymooners searching through local supermarkets for baguettes and cheese to stop them from starving).
We'd dragged it though Papeete where we stayed the first night, left it in the hotel room as we swam and lay by the pool, and then heaved it onto a small plane (as hand luggage) that took us to Bora Bora and then in a boat to our resort. But when we checked in, our kind hosts suggested they put it in the fridge for us and we could call them when we wanted it - all chilled and ready for our sunset cocktail on the balcony of our over-water bungalow.
Well cocktail hour approached and we called Housekeeping asking them to deliver the very tempting bubbly. And we waited and we waited. But nothing came.
So we called again.
"Yes, it's on the way," we were told.
Finally with no champers in sight, we decided to go for dinner where we'd drink it at the table instead. We told the restaurant staff and they said the bottle was en route to our bungalow but they would call Housekeeping and ask them to turn around and bring it to our table, instead.
Funny we never passed anybody from Housekeeping as we'd headed along the boardwalk to the restaurant.
And then we waited and waited again. I couldn't bear the wait any longer. After all we were in romantic Bora Bora - without my husband - so I needed a drink.
After ordering a glass of wine each we both relaxed a bit.
And then the waiter turned up with a bottle of champagne. But not the one Nicky was given at the airport.
"Your bottle was too hot," the waiter said. "So this one is compliments of the house."
Well, who could refuse that nice gesture?
It must have looked rather unusual anyway, to have two girls (an older one and a younger one) staying in habitation normally reserved for honeymooning couples.
When earlier the bellboy pointed to the double bed, and then clarified after seeing my horrified face that it could be made into single beds, he must have been thinking, "So not a honeymooning couple after all?"
But whatever the bed situation it really didn't matter. Bora Bora still is a beautiful place for a holiday whether you're a couple, single or whatever sexual persuasion, ladyboy etc etc.
Swim with turtles, go kayaking, take a boat ride, lie on the beach and sunbake, have a massage, watch the sunset - every activity is made for total relaxation.
I think I actually managed to read three chapters of my book one afternoon, lying on the beach as Nicky languidly kayaked around the bay.
The food was good too, with beautiful buffet breakfasts and choice of buffet or a la carte meals at night. There's a tapa-style restaurant as well.
Unfortunately we were only there for two nights.
The second evening as the boat sped towards our dining spot, when we chatted with a couple of lovely New York honeymooners, I was kind of relieved I wasn't there with partner, having just married. The groom complained non stop about getting coral in his foot in a way which reminded me of George in Seinfeld while his new wife rolled her eyes.
Instead at night Nicky and I chatted in bed like schoolgirls, before she donned her eyepatch and earplugs to stop the sounds of my snoring. I just took a sleeping pill.
The last evening we finally got to drink the camera-store champagne, yes as the sun set and total darkness fell over the resort.
We chinked our glasses together in a toast - here's to a beautiful girls' escape to French Polynesia.
It was pretty close to perfection - and the champagne was just cold enough.
The writers were guests of Tahiti Tourisme and Air Tahiti Nui.
For more information on Tahiti and its islands visit www.tahitinow.com.au.
Tahiti Travel Connection has a seven-night package available from $5145 per person (twin share) from Sydney or Melbourne to Tahiti and Bora Bora. Includes return international flights with Air Tahiti Nui (including taxes), two nights accommodation at the Le Meridien Tahiti in a garden view room including breakfast, five nights accommodation at Le Meridien Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow including breakfast and dinner daily, return domestic flights and all land transfers.
Available for travel until October 31, 2010, package also available ex Brisbane from $5165, Adelaide from $5615 and Perth from $5745.
It also has a seven-night package staying at Hotel Tahiti Nui starting at $1999 per person, twin share. The offer includes accommodation in a standard room, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui (ex Sydney or Melbourne), all taxes and land transfers. Package is available for travel from July 15 - December 21, 2010.
For more information on conditions and how to book, contact Tahiti Travel Connection toll-free on 1300-858-305 or www.tahititravel.com.au.
Air Tahiti Nui offers three weekly one stop flights from Australia to Papeete. Visit www.airtahitinui.com.au or call 1300-732-415.