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Very Well in Tahiti

January 12, 1986

I had never been to Tahiti, and after reading about it in your section and seeing those beautiful pictures I knew that I would have to see it. The trip turned out very well. The Maeva Beach is a fine hotel if you like big buildings. It is very clean and handled very well. The ferry to Moorea is a little rough, but not bad. The ride for close to an hour to Club Med in a diesel-fueled bus was not too good, but the Club Med was a pleasant surprise. It was rebuilt in March. It has a great beach and the food while not great was plentiful, with a large selection to choose from. Also had a great sailboat ride around the entire island. The swimming was marvelous. Love that water. The place was jammed with a lot of older people, those who take cruises.

The prices were outrageous. Breakfast at the Maeva Beach was $11 for canned orange juice, coffee and two pieces of toast. A full breakfast was about $14 or $15. I am not a big breakfast man so our breakfast cost only $22. I asked someone, "Why are prices so high?" Seems that no one in Tahiti has to pay taxes, so the government puts a 300% tax on everything. A woman living in Tahiti told me that it was cheaper for her to buy a TV set in California and pay the 88% duty than it was to buy a set in her own town. A woman from New Zealand told me the same thing about her country, except that the duty in New Zealand is 93%. You should warn your readers to take along mosquito repellent.

American Cruises took very good care of us. They couldn't do enough. Their people were everywhere with us all the way.

JOHN GALL

Torrance

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