Moorea, French Polynesia
We would never plan a trip around a honeymooner’s destination in our regular working lives, but this far into our RTW adventure, a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific didn’t seem like the worst idea. Most people, i.e. newlyweds, understandably splurge for one the fancy resorts, but we found a great deal on a garage-turned-guesthouse just a kilometer down the road from the Hilton Lagoon Resort and Spa. That meant at the cost of two-for-one rum drink specials, we could enjoy romantic sunsets on Hilton property while saving over $700 per night from not actually staying there. As captivated as we were by all the natural beauty of Moorea, though, paradise always has its drawbacks.
Electricity (and food for that matter) in French Polynesia is very expensive, so most people live without air conditioning. The oppressive heat and humidity kept us turning to cold showers regularly throughout the days as our only relief. Even worse were the mosquitoes—sitting still to stay cool means you are more susceptible to their bites. And since our place had no window screens, we might as well have been outside. Minh counted over four dozen mosquito bites on his arms and legs! How we didn’t contract dengue fever or chikungunya is beyond us. Next time we return, we will find a time of year when it’s not as miserably hot and the mosquitoes aren’t on full rampage.