We went to Moorea twice in July: The first time was when Randy’s mom and sister flew to Tahiti to visit (and bring stuff for us and the boat). We all went together on the high speed ferries that commute between Tahiti and Moorea daily. We really very much enjoyed the time together, mostly just being together. But we did a little sight-seeing as well. On Moorea, mom rented a car for an island tour. We circled the island that included an excursion inland to a viewpoint and a large archeological site where there were several stone platforms (marae) with standing stones. Below are some photos of the site, and of the nice resort we got to stay at for three nights – luxurious!
One of the larger marae. There were several on this site. These are the first ones we’ve seen using rounded stones to build the platforms. These must have taken a lot of work to shape and fit.
Same marae, from the bottom end.
Jungle fowl, or what we think of as just “chickens” are everywhere, roaming free. Ruth took the photo; remember that she’s interested in birds? This is taken in the parking lot for both the viewpoint and the trail leading to the various marae sites below.
View from the top. Opunohu Bay is on the left and Cook Bay on the right. We anchored in both bays when we came back to Moorea on Velic. Both bays are portions of one large caldera. The rocky point between them is what remains of the volcanoe.
Breakfast in the dining room of the Pearl Moorea resort: Mom, Sara and Randy around the table in the background.
The swimming pool and some of the over-the-water bungalows. Below the nearest pool is a lagoon open to the ocean, a kind of lagoonarium.
Sara and Ruth beside the “over-the-water resort bungalows. Aimed at the honeymooners it seems.
The second time we went to Moorea it was just the two of us on Velic. We anchored first in Cook Bay for a few nights, then moved around the peninsula to Opunohu Bay. Both are great anchorages,although we found a bit of swell came into Opunohu at times. While in Opunohu Bay we took in the tropical gardens overlooking the bay, found a short walk into the village of Papetoai on the east side of the bay. On a different day, we walked along the west side to have a look at the first Protestant church built in French Polynesia, which is notable for its distinctive octagonal roof. Next to the church is a small harbor and quay used by local fish boats, with a covered shelter and benches nearby. Ironically, the Paul Gauguin cruise ship was there with all its guests. The local townsfolk had set up some tables of jewelry and crafts to welcome the guests. However, the production in Hapatoni was much more extensive. We’re lucky that we got to see it back in the Marquesas.
Cook Bay. We anchored near this church. On Sunday, we could hear beautiful singing coming across the water.
Looking toward the head of Cook Bay and the valley behind.
View from the botanical gardens we visited while anchored in Opunohu Bay, looking out over the bay. In the distance you can see the red octagonal roof of the first Protestant Church built in French Polynesia.
Vanilla pods, not yet ripe for picking.
Vanilla orchids in bloom.
The road we walked leading up to the gardens. Straight up.
First Protestant Church built in French Polynesia.
Quay for local fish boats and recreational use. One of the nicest ones we’ve seen so far.