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Published: April 18th 2019
Today we sailed from Tahiti and arrived at Moorea. What do we mean? We didn’t sail from Pateete until about 3:00 AM this morning. We have no idea how many people made a late night of it in Tahiti, but since it is such a short distance between destinations, the Star Princess stayed in port until long after we had gone to bed. This morning we got up at 6:30 and the ship arrived at the anchorage off Moorea at 7:30. Meanwhile we had gone up to the Horizon Court and had breakfast.
We had to meet in the Crown Grill at 8:00 and a little later we boarded a tender (sometime called a cruise ship limousine) and were soon taken to shore. The sea was smooth so the ride was gentle, and we had no problems. When we got out of the tender they gave each of us a small island flower to wear in our hair. We got the front row seat on a bus once we got on shore and before long we were off to explore the island.
The trip today was an island drive with multiple stops along the drive. This island is about
1.5 to 2.5 million years old. That makes it older than Tahiti and the beaches here are nice white sand beaches. The island is smaller than Tahiti and a lot less populated. It is only about 37 miles to drive all the way around the island. There were not large towns but instead just small hamlets periodically along the road.
The first place we went was called Belvedere Lookout. This followed a scenic but harrowing ride up a very narrow road, with many hairpin turns. Since we had a front seat view all the way, it was pretty impressive. The road looked to be able the width of one regular lane of a road back in the US, except here there is a white strip down the middle and cars and buses have to jockey for positions to pass in opposite directions – the bus usually won! Sometimes the bus rubbed the front window against the limbs and leaves growing along the road during the sharpest of these turns. But we got to the top. From that location near the top of Mt Rotui, we had a panoramic view of the green mountainsides. Below the point was a view
of two bays of water – Opunohu Bay where our ship is anchored and Cook’s Bay. Then we rode back down the mountain.
The next stop was at the ruins of an old Polynesian temple, or “marae”. There were long trails you could have walked back into the forests if there had been time. Here were examples of many of the local plants which had been used for many different purposes. One was a natural soap which villagers had used for cleaning. Another was called the lipstick plant where the seeds and blossoms were used as a kind of dye for everything from making decorative markings on their body during ceremonies to permanently coloring fabrics woven from natural vines and leaves.
We started driving along the coast and stopped several places with great views of the coast and beaches. We drove past the coastal area where the filming of “Mutiny on the Bounty” was filmed – here on Moorea and not on Tahiti. One place where we did stop was a park with a lot of palm trees and a nice beach. While Janet tried a “very nice” bathroom David went to the beach and got his hand
in the water – nice and warm. Of course he snapped a few pictures too. The bus then continued around the island with another stop at a viewing point that looked directly across the sea to Tahiti. There are only 5 resorts on this island and one below us had a bunch of cabanas stretching out over the sea. It looked very picturesque. Also this was nearby the ferry and catamaran terminal where there is regular service to Tahiti.
We drove all the way around the island and ended up at a gift shop near the point where the tenders were waiting. Of course this was an obligatory visit to the Pearl Shop with very pricey souvenirs of Moorea. Back on the bus, around the corner, and we were back off the bus where the souvenirs were abundant and much cheaper. However we were kind of hungry and a bit tired, so we got back on the tender and went back to the ship. We went to Shake & Steak for lunch – that is burger place where we live that serves milk shakes and hamburgers, which is what we got on the Horizon Court.
We went back
to the cabin for a rest, which turned into an hour’s nap. The TV said it was only 82 degrees this afternoon. The coordinates were almost the same as Tahiti yesterday. With our cabin curtains open we got to watch the scenery drift back and forth from colorful ocean hue and back to scenic mountain views and the ship drifted in the breeze on the anchor chain. Anyway, it was very picturesque island and we found it more authentic than Tahiti. Of course the first island was really nice yesterday but Moorea is less built-up and less crowded. If we were going to come back and visit some place for a while, then we would probably prefer to have a few days here where we could make occasion short trips to/from Tahiti rather than the other way around.
Janet watched a movie on TV called Instant Family and David went up to the top deck to take a few more pictures and just enjoy the views. He got another ice cream cone and sat on a deck chair just enjoying a relaxing afternoon. The last tenders returned to the ship and were loaded back aboard the ship. Then about
4:30 the ship got underway and headed for Bora Bora – our next Polynesian island tomorrow.
There were intermittent clouds shrouding the mountain tops all day. Sometimes they cleared briefly, but there were frequently clouds hanging around. A couple of times there were rain showers on the ship, and one of our tablemates told us later that their tour had gotten rained upon on the island – we didn’t.
We changed for dinner and went to the Elite lounge for some appetizers before dinner. The drink-of-the-day was a Hurricane, so we each got one of those. Then we went down to dinner where Janet got “Grandma’s Cog Au Vin” and David got a bowl of Pasta with Seafood. We had assorted appetizers and desserts before going back to the cabin for the evening. We did not find any of the entertainment to be particularly appealing and we are still a little tired from the day. So that finishes our day on Moorea.
The pictures from Tahiti will be inserted at a future date – sorry but not today.
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