Overview of Kia Ora Resort

Walkway from room to LagoonSomething does not want us to sleep in, and my guess is it’s a bird. The last 2 days, we’ve heard a knocking sound before the sun rises. I suspect a bird lands on our balcony and pecks at the glass top over our rattan table. It’s four knocks in a row yet nobody yells out: hellllloooooooo, so our bets are on a bird. This rude awakening doesn’t bother me because I am an early riser and take it as my wake-up call, but my husband just pulls the covers over his head.

Our resort, Kia Ora, is one of those vacation spots that blends so well into the environment that you never want to leave. Some resorts can give you “resort fever,” making it imperative that you high tail it out to explore, but I could happily hang out here for days on end without the slightest bit of guilt or annoyance that I’m not driving around the atoll. It’s pretty much paradise everywhere you go, ocean on one side, lagoon on the other. Except the lagoon is so vast that you cannot see the other side, only the blue horizon.

Roosters crow every now and then, even way after sunrise. Fish splash as they jump out of the water, which makes the birds circle, squawking and diving, trying to catch them with their puny little feet. Yesterday, I spotted an eel swim past our lower-level deck. My favorites are the yellow butterfly fish and big blue groupers.butterfly fish

This is a diving and snorkeling destination for many people, this atoll in the Tuamoto Archipelago. The lagoon of Rangiroa is about 75 kilometers by 25 kilometers. Even though I don’t SCUBA, I can still watch the fish because the jade-colored and turquoise waters are so clear. The fish are so danged cute that I want to pet them. Some of them you can catch if you’re quick enough, and you can pet them as long as you pet them right direction. If you pet them in the wrong direction, you could get your hands cut up. Just like if you don’t watch where you are walking in the water, you could step on a sea urchin (ouch ouch) or squash a ray (triple ouch).

If I have any derogatory comments about the Kia Ora Resort, it would probably be the food. Just because it’s French doesn’t mean it’s as good as Paris or even as good as Tahiti. It’s all right, but it’s nothing exciting. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out what you’re getting. The waiter called it vegetable soup but it was really cream of celery. We ordered what we thought was a vegetable tray of carrot sticks and celery sticks, and it turned out to be a salad. It would help if we could read French. We only know the important words, like how to figure out whether it’s fish, beef or chicken.

Our meals are incredibly expensive for what you get. Even a Diet Coke is $5.00. It’s the same kind of Coke you get in Europe, Light and not Diet. So it tastes a little bit like Diet Coke watered down to Light. But I’m happy to get any kind of Diet Coke at all in the South Pacific. I’ll just say if you ever come here and decide to opt for the private dining in the air conditioned restaurant and blow a hundred bucks pp for a 3-course meal, don’t. They put forth an ambitious effort, but it’s not what you are probably expecting.

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