Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moorea – French Polynesia

Each day I pile more superlatives on to the experiences I have enjoyed and I am sure that anyone reading this must think I am on some kind of happy pill. Rest assured, with five days sailing to Auckland, this will be the last such description for a while.

Let me get this quite clear. Moorea is the most beautiful place to visit. It is close enough to Tahiti that you can live here and commute (half an hour by ferry) to work but it is mind-blowingly distant in feel. It is like 50 years ago elsewhere. Pretty. Largely unspoiled. Genuinely happy residents. Lovely weather. Gorgeous landscape.

Moorea is a “young” island geologically. High volcanic peaks that are sharp and spiky – haven’t yet been eroded to the degree of the other islands; rapid dropoff to deep ocean but old enough to be lush with forest and undergrowth and have a mature coral reef defining a lovely calm lagoon

When you come to a location with no real facilities to dock (or maybe to save docking fees) we use tenders to get to shore. The ships tenders are lifeboats that take 120 people – you can see them being swung out when we arrived this morning and Merle took pictures of the welcome committee on outrigger canoes and at the little dock

Merle went on a tour of the island that took her to a juice factory – kinda sad, then the Tiki Village to see local arts crafts and folk dance. Merle really related to the craft displays and was incredibly impressed by the skill and artistry of the two young ladies who produced tie-died fabrics of lovely colors in just a few minutes. They also demonstrated folk dancing and playing with matches. 

Getting carried away with the primitive theme she saw these chickens running around and had to take a photo.

Tahiti is famous for pearls – particularly black pearls with green, blue and other lusters. The pearls she saw were not at a Jewelry store and were probably not of very high quality but they are real.

If anyone is interested there is a beautiful hotel on Moorea. Actually, as you can see its in the lagoon. The floor of some rooms is glass so the fish can see you better. No comment.

My day was spent seeing the fish better. I took the catamaran snorkeling trip to Cooks Bay. 43 foot Catamaran. Lovely weather. Clear water. Lots to see in the coral reefs. Rum punches after and a wild ride through the waves outside the lagoon. Came back quite charged.

…….. and they say Bora Bora is even more beautiful. What a wonderful part of the world this is.


  1. Wow, such splendor abounds!!! Stunning photos! Lovin' the tie dyes also. Best wishes whilst traveling the next bunch of days toward your next destination.

  2. Water looks gorgeous? See anything cool swimming around it?

  3. Pictures are amazing... i am a very jealous other.

  4. I want to stay in one of those thatched cabins with the glass floor. The island looks divine. The pictures are wonderful and you should consider a new profession as a travel writer.

  5. Oh I love the photos and am so jealous!