French polynesia, Travel Diary
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Tikehau – day one

Tikehau French Polynesia

We arrived on Tikehau island, from Tahiti, right on lunch time. Our plan is to head to go and eat, as soon as we have everything settled in our room.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau pearl beach resort
Our first sighting of a school of fish under the bungalow.

The view is great. There is blue sky and fluffy clouds on one side of us and a small section of sky with a dark and foreboding cloud on the other. The water is every shade of blue and the best part is we can see clearly through the water.

It looks like a storm will blow through a little later. The Tikehau weather has a forecast for rolling thunderstorms. Intermittent only. A shower or some form of precipitation is expected once every daylight hour for at least the next five days. Though the expectation is a short rain burst each time.

LUNCH TIME.

Room settled, we make on our way to lunch. On the way back to shore, we straight up saw a shark and hundreds of fish under our bungalow. Well, this feels like it is going to be an epic stay. Whoop, whoop.

We aren’t super sure of what to order. Tikehau is pretty remote and each island in French Polynesia is small. We decide seafood is likely the best option, given we are surrounded by water. Awkwardly we both get the fish burger. Hashtag twinning, lol.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau pearl Beach Resort Fish Burger
Fish burgers for lunch

The burger comes pretty fast and looks small but is surprisingly filling. Enjoyable enough just not the best we have ever had.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort
Before the rain

This hours storm rolls in while we are eating lunch, the rain absolutely pours down. That storm only lasts a couple of minutes and it looks as though that will be the last rain for some time. There are no more visible storm clouds in the sky.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort
During the rain

Snorkelling on Tikehau

Recharged, we head for a snorkel. It seems crazy to travel for so long to arrive at lunch time and then snorkel, by the same token is seems silly to travel so far and not make the most of it. We grab some masks, unpack our flippers and camera with the underwater housing and off we set.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort Shark
Mr shark swimming from under our bungalow as we set off to snorkel under our bungalow. Yes, we still got in. I mean he is swimming towards someone else’s bungalow so it should be fine.

I am sure we picked the worst possible route but we walked to the beach and set our stuff down then swam over to our villa. The reef is large and in some parts it has a decent height to it so swimming over it was difficult. We didn’t want to bump it. I can float well but Triston has issues with floating. I float on the surface, I guess I am full of hot air because I am very buoyant. Triston is more of sinking floater.

His head is usually ok but his butt and feet sink. He has to exert a lot of energy to keep his body parallel so it usually isn’t. Some how we made it over to our bungalow and we were met with a wall of fish. The same abundance of fish we saw on our way to lunch. I don’t know why we had forgotten about them but it was super fun to swim with them.

Shark

About 20 minutes later I remember we saw the fish with the shark, we didn’t see the shark now though. I kind of wanted to see it but at the same time, OMG shark. I don’t care how small, I am scared. We snorkel until the sun went down and have a really relaxing afternoon.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort Fish
The wall of fish from the water.

Tikehau – home of crystal clear water

After snorkelling we sit in the water at the shore and some fish come and hang out with us. People are told not to feed the fish but I get the feeling they are waiting to be fed. We don’t have anything to give to them and I start to feel guilty about it but I just take a tonne of photos of them instead.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort Fish and bungalows
Friendly fish.

The water is so clear here on Tikehau, you don’t need to snorkel to see what is going on. We watch from above and enjoy the cooling water. The water temperature is more like a bath so it isn’t actually cooling water but there is a breeze and this is what is actually cooling us down.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort clear waters
Clear water, reef just off the beach. The hut is the main building, it houses the only restaurant.

We more out of the water and I see what I think is an octopus in the water. It isn’t quite clear if it is so I stand up and move closer. I point, Triston sees nothing but then armed with my camera and sunnies, I am sure it is. I take photos of “rocks” but eventually Triston sees what I see.

It is exciting and we aren’t sure which side we are on. We think he is going to eat a fish or the fish is going to eat him. Neither happened that we saw but we only saw him one time. I had thought I saw one earlier that day but my eye only caught him after he hid and my brain was processing peripheral vision. I doubted what I saw. Now I knew for sure they were there and they can hide well.

Dinner Time

It is now near dinner time so we pack up and head back to our room to rinse off and get ready for dinner. It has been a pretty big day so we are excited for the relaxed meal ahead of us. We order a starter to share – the raw fish trilogy. It is very enjoyable.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort sashimi dinner
Trilogy or raw fish. Was very good and the wasabi had a proper hit but no lasting burn.

I like the fine sliced raw tuna the most. Sashimi tuna that I am used to is fairly chunky and this was super thin like you might have for smoked fish. The wasabi was great, one of the better hits of heat without any real burn that I have had and the sauces were all nice.

Food Envy

For main I pick the duck. I am not a huge fan of duck but I figure the French do it well so why not try it, Triston ordered the Mahi Mahi steak which on the menu comes a quinoa salad. Triston confirms he can swap so he gets it with chips. Basically it is the same amount of fish as we had with our burger at lunch. So his meal is pretty small as it is just the smallish portion of fish and chips. It looked a little disappointing. Possibly with the salad is looks more substantial, it is likely quinoa is more satiating.

Luckily my meal was very large so I was able to share most of my duck – yeah I am still not a huge fan – with him. I had multiple sides and there are bread rolls with every meal so we were full before we could get any desert.

Tahiti French Polynesia Tikehau Beach Resort dinner, duck
My duck. It was a large portion. They serving sizes looked small when presented but this could actually nearly feed two.

Triston thought he would be up much later because it was still decently early but he laid down on the bed and was snoring within 5 minutes. He did wake himself up and I laughed at him but he was off to sleep again in no time so I also went to bed.

Good night Tikehau, we might just love you.

Tikehau day 1 was 27 March 2018
Updated 22 September 2019

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tikehau, arrival - Me?! The Third Wheel?? - in French Polynesia

  2. Pingback: Tikehau days 2 through to 6 – The Empty W Chronicles

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