On the Monoi Road


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Oceania » French Polynesia
June 8th 2013
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: -17.52, -149.56

Friday was a rest day for us. After so much activity we needed a break especially as those famous shonky knees were rather bad. So I slept in and we spent the morning reading and updating the blog for me and ranking lists for Fletcher. At lunch time we ventured out to find sustenance and walked (or in Fletcher's case) limped to Les Trois Brasseurs, a micro-brewery and cafe just down the street a little.There we had a Tarte Flambe each and spent a pleasant hour or two watching the world go by and sampling the brew. We then walked to Avis and organised a car for tomorrow an one for Monday on Moorea.

After an indolent afternoon we returned to La Villa for dinner. This time there were 21 of our group there and the waitress and owner greeted us with enthusiasm. We again had a great meal. I started with foie-gras, a huge serve while Fletcher had a tartin de crevettes which he said was fantastic. For main course I decided on the day's special, Blanquette de Veau while Fletcher settled for the panfried Mahimahi. The serves were large and delicious, but it was a struggle to finish. We accompanied them with a premier cru chablis and then the lovely Cote de Rhone which we had had before. To finish we managed to eat some coconut icecream which was refreshing. Again everyone thoroughly enjoyed the meals. We offered to pay for the wine but the owner insisted that the meal was free as a thank you for bringing so many to the restaurant. We were not going to argue!!

On Saturday accompanied by our friend, Bob Snow, we walked to Avis and collected the two-door Renault in which we planned to circumnavigate the island. The Monoi Road is the first tourist road in Tahiti and follows the shore line around the island. We headed first for the west coast. The lush vegetation can be seen along the road but there are many houses lining the waterfront. Our first stop was at the Grottes de Maraa. These are a series of caves in the mountainside in which there are pools of water and are covered by dense vegetation. Very pretty. We continued to the southern side heading for the Musee de Paul Gaugin which I particularly wanted to see. We followed the sign off the road and came to Les Jardins Botaniques. The car park was packed as a family gathering was happening in the adjacent park and beach. On enquiring at the entrance to the gardens we were told that the Museum was closed for renovations. However, we did go for a pleasant stroll in the garden. There are two Galapagos tortoises there which arrived in 1928.

Back on the road we continued and drove along the peninsula to what is considered the best surf beach on Tahiti. Teahupoo is a black sand beach( as most of them are on this main island) and had some waves out on the reef but we decided not to alight and returned to Taravao where we found a small cafe and had lunch. OK but not memorable. We now were on the east coast and closer to the actual shore as we drove. We passed several spots where people were swimming and some resort hotels.

Our next stop was at Les Trois Cascades where we walked down a path next to a small river to an impressive waterfall running down the cliff side. It was cool and peaceful there with just the sound of the tumbling water in the green rainforest. We declined the sign's invitation to walk another 20 minutes to the other two. The final stop on our odyssey was at Point Venus. This has a large sand spit extending into the sea and was the spot from which Captain Cook observed the Transit of Venus in 1777. There are several monuments here. The Lighthouse was designed by Robert Louis Stevenson's father and is an interesting building. There are also monuments to the London Missionary Society who brought their brand of Christianity to the Pacific ( a questionable asset) and the crew of the Bounty who sojourned on Tahiti for a while which of course led to the famous Mutiny. The small plinth topped by a round ball marks the transit itself.

Then it was back to the hotel and a short rest before our return to La Villa for dinner. Prior to that Bob had brought a nice French red to share in a pre dinner drink. This had been given to him by Dany Vicente a local identity and a charming man. We had thoroughly enjoyed Bob's company for the day. His erudite conversation and joking manner certainly added to the pleasure of the trip. He then insisted on shouting us the meal and we couldn't refuse. Again the food was great. Fletcher and Bob had Chateaubriand while I settled for chicken done cordon bleu style. We indulged ourselves with dessert, a concoction of meringue, strawberry icecream and melt in the mouth cream surrounded by a strawberry sauce. Very decadent. We said au revoir to the staff there as they are closed Sunday and Monday and our last night, Tuesday we are meeting the rest at another place.

Another excellent day!!




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