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Published: September 30th 2017
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 ...
... 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.
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