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January 4th 2016
Published: September 30th 2017
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Geo: -17.5327, -149.838

Moorea is known as being one of the most beautiful islands in all of French Polynesia - well, we wouldn't really know, because it pissed rain for most of the three days that we were here! You could argue that travel experiences can often be all about the timing, so you could blame our luck for this poor weather, but we did make a conscious decision to visit French Polynesia during the rainy season, so there isn't really anyone to blame but ourselves.

Despite the grey and rain, we were still able to see what all the hype was about, especially when we did the obligatory lagoon tour, and getting to see some of the beautiful motus that dot this part of the South Pacific, tiny little private islands that are straight out of a shipwreck fantasy. The snorkeling wasn't half bad, either, with the typical stops for some swimming with stingrays and sharks. While highly questionable from an ethical standpoint, as the Sharks and rays are typically attracted by feeding, it's still quite the memorable experience.

For all of Moorea's beauty, the highlight was actually something quite unexpected - the food!!! We ran the full gamut of cuisines you could
Hitching a Ride ... Hitching a Ride ... Hitching a Ride ...

... The long eel-like creature must share a symbiotic relationship with the string ray, as it either was attached to it, or was following it wherever it went.
find in Moorea, from the Roulottes down the street from our hotel, for some huge and cheap sandwiches and incredible roasted chicken, to fancy continental cuisine found at five-star resorts, and even some fancy French cuisine, in addition to the more typical Tahitian-style foods on offer.

But it wasn't all good, as by far the worst meal we had was breakfast on the final meal at our hotel before flying off to Huahine, despite some very good accounts of the place. It was a rather plain breakfast buffet, and wasn't cheap, at something like $25 CAD. But the kicker? We didn't know at the time, but that price was for the continental breakfast, and when I took a small scoop of some horribly overcooked scrambled eggs that were oozing water, that triggered an additional $10 on top!

Eating in French Polynesia is all about the value, or quite often, the lack of value, and Moorea was a prime example - we paid a lot for our fancier meals, but they were excellent, so we felt that we received great value. Same goes for the excellent Roulotte meals and even our included buffet on the lagoon excursion, which were relatively cheap but still delicious. But $35 for a dubious breakfast buffet? That's the worst value anywhere, but sadly, all too common in this part of the world, where the rip-offs can be extreme.

Additional photos below
Photos: 48, Displayed: 23


Bungalows at Hotel Hibiscus in Moorea ...Bungalows at Hotel Hibiscus in Moorea ...
Bungalows at Hotel Hibiscus in Moorea ...

... We didn't stay in these for two reasons - first, because they were pricier, and second, because they didn't have air conditioning, which is a must in a disgustingly hot and humid climate such as this. So the cheaper and cooler hotel rooms it was!
Reminiscent of Table Mountain ...Reminiscent of Table Mountain ...
Reminiscent of Table Mountain ...

... When the famous mountain in Cape Town has a cloud similar to this dragging across the top, it's called the table cloth.
The Sofitel ...The Sofitel ...
The Sofitel ...

... If you can't afford five-star luxury, you fake it like we do, by crashing the hotel for lunch!
Faking the Good Overwater Bungalow Life ...Faking the Good Overwater Bungalow Life ...
Faking the Good Overwater Bungalow Life ...

... Maybe we aren't staying at the exclusive Moorea Sofitel, but we can at least have lunch and take a picture here!
Sting Rays ...Sting Rays ...
Sting Rays ...

... One of the coolest things about French Polynesia is the ability to swim with string rays everywhere, even just wading in from the beach.

5th January 2016

Sounds like you are having a good time already. Enjoy!
5th January 2016

Hi Clint and Sue. Looks like you had a good flight. Brings back memories of when Denise and I were on that same flight. You are staying across from Raffles, if you can you should try the high tea. It really is a very special time. China tow
n sounded amazing, we've had dinner there as well maybe not the same restaurant but it is very nice. Enjoy your stay. Cheers Bevan.
5th January 2016

Oops! How's this, well done you make travelling sound so easy and enjoyable, are you sure you don't represent a travel agent , happy holiday Judy & Ferris X
6th January 2016

You didn't tell us what you had for dinner when you met up with Vincent and his parents!!

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