Like most of you know now, I moved this summer from Nice (metropolitan France) to Raiatea (French Polynesia). Of course, during the travel I had my LC-A+ and my supersampler always with me… Let me tell you the story of this great travel to the other side of the world…
A new job opportunity allowed me to realize a dream, but also one of the biggest and longest travel I ever made. French Polynesia is almost on the opposite side of Europe in the southern hemisphere and we needed about 23 hours flight with stops in Paris, Los Angeles and Papeete to reach our new paradisiac island called Raiatea.
Tuesday, 21st of July, Nice
2 days before our flight, we have a very big party with all our friends in Nice. It was a great time and we had a lot of fun til sunrise, but when came the time to say goodbye there was a big emotion , because I realized that I will not see them again for some time…. perhaps a long time… Anyway, it was great to have this party with all my friends! (pictures n°1- 2)
Thursday, 23rd of July, 5:00 am, Nice
We just woke up, had a troubled sleep because today is the big day! We packed our (big and heavy) bags, hoping not to forget something important, but we’re sure that we forget some other things… doesn’t matter.
A friend is waiting with his car to bring us to the airport, the flight is at 6:30 am and it’s time to go now. Let’s say goodbye to the place and hurry up to the airport! I look at all the empty streets of Nice one last time with a bit of nostalgy, but in the same time I’m so excited to discover a new place and a new life….
….. Nice Airport Terminal 2 – check-in – I need another coffee – the plane is on time – seat 14B – “do you want a drink, Sir”?, yes, some coffee please – landing in Paris on time – “the outside temperature is of 14°C” – brrr …..
8:00 am, Paris CDG airport
Our next flight is in 2 1/2 hours but this time the check-in desks are already crowded. Everywhere security guards and police, passport must be shown a lot of times… All these security freaks frighten me sometimes. At the check-in, the stewardess makes us a proposal of 600 € each and a night in a Hotel if we take the next flight tomorrow…. we’re thinking about this, but we don’t want to wait, we want to go now!! Finally we’re in the departure room, gate A38, and I begin to shoot only now… with all this security stress, I forgot to lomograph on all this!! Sorry if the picture story only begins here…! :)) (pictures n° 3 – 7)
11:00 am, in the plane
This time we’re gone for real!! The plane is starting, we found our seats, and now it’s a 11-12 hours flight to Los Angeles!! And I have the best seat for a lomographer, the window seat of course… :)
- “Welcome on Air Tahiti Nui, here’s your captain speaking…. flight to Papeete…. technical stop in Los Angeles… a drink will be served in a few minutes”
- “Yeah, it’s time to celebrate!!! Can I have 2 Vodka-Champagne please?”
- “Vodka-champagne? I never served this cocktail before… Here it is, enjoy your flight”
Of course, we where already happy, but this drink made us much more happier…. :)))
We fell asleep a bit later, waking up sometimes having a look at the screen informations to know where we were… looking at some crappy movies on the screen… playing some cheap games on the same screen…. where are we now? hmm, in the middle of the atlantic ocean… what a beautiful sky, what a landscape, quick, my LC-A!
(pictures n°8 – 15)
- 10:25 pm (Paris time): 3 hours stop in Los Angeles.
We need to go through the visa/passport checkpoint were my thumb fingerprints are taken and also a picture of my eyes…. am I in a science fiction movie??? And after that, no way out, we must wait in a kind of very long and boring corridor…
- Friday 24th of July, 1:25 am (Paris time)
Back in the plane, “only” 8 hours left to reach Papeete! Can’t remember anything from this part of the flight, because we slept almost from the beginning to the end. I don’t really know anymore what real time it is, but I feel that I’m very very tired… I want a bed… can’t find the good position on the seat, but fall asleep quickly.
When I woke up, we’re on approach of Papeete airport. My neck and my legs are hurting, although I made regular walks in the plane when I was awake… We can see the lights of the airport, we’re on approach and can’t wait to land on the polynesian terrritory. We’re like kids at christmas who can’t wait to open their presents…
And then it’s the big moment: we’re in French Polynesia!! On Tahiti time, it’s 11:00 pm, still thursday, In Paris it’s already 11:00 am on friday… We leaved Nice 29 hours ago, and now we need some good sleep. happily, my new “boss” (in fact the education authority of Polynesia) reserved for us a nice room in the Hilton Airport Hotel…. But our travel isn’t finished yet. We need to go to our island, Raiatea. It’s about 200 km far from Tahiti island and a little hour flight.(pictures n° 16 – 20)
- Saturday 25th of July, 2:00 am (Paris time) – Friday 24th of July, 2:00 pm (Tahiti time)
When we woke up, we we’re amazed to see the beauty of the place: the colors, the heat, the trees and the sea, wow, a real image of Paradise!! We had a good sleep and ready to take the last flight for Raiatea in the afternoon.
Back to the airport, new check-in (aaargh…), but this time we took a nice little plane (30 seats) of the Air Tahiti company. A little glass of Pineapple juice to celebrate the last flight of our travel and the plane began to approach of Raiatea. As soon as we saw the island through the window, we loved it!! We’re going to live there!!! (pictures n° 21 – 37)
And the dream was now reality: we landed in the very cute airport of Raiatea and the travel is over. The place is beautiful….Now the new life can begin, after almost 45 hours of travel !! :)))