Wednesday, 3 January 2007

LP says: Moorea -great place to catchup on sleep

First thank you to everyone who helped get us out of Australia. If I ever say we'll pack a house into the shed again please hit me!
Thankfully, lonely planet was right, Moorea just off the Tahitian capital of Pape'ete is a great place to relax. Sadly they are also right that it's expensive all over Tahiti but I think we've done OK especially thanks to self catering.
A brief taste of Pape'ete was probably enough but I had a great time at the morning markets. There was a wide variety of fruit and basic vege (esp taros and plantians) and half the women had floral crowns or lays on. I got a bit confused with the prices after bags of tomatos baby lettace and onions cost 300-500 Francs but the 1000TF (close to $15) watermelon is the sweetest I've ever tried. gotta laugh. I went a bit wild with the camera in the the whole aile of people making floral jewellery.
The rest of the city was pretty much closed down because it was New Year's Eve but we hung out in the lush Parc Bouganville near the harbour and read after a bit of a walk in the sauna like climate.
Moorea is a spectacular island with steep volvanic hills rising out of a gorgeous aqua lagoon. The relaxed atmosphere of Fare OaOa has been good for winding down and the new owner Martine and her husband and three cute little kids have been very welcoming.
Having only arrived on NYE at 5pm we were invited to join them and another french friend for a dinner. Martine is quiet the chef and we had red caviar on bagette, Tuna Tartare, foi gras, duck with red pepper sauce followed by (drool) french cheeses and a reine cake (like a pie with frangipaine in the middle with little person ornament to designate the "king" who gets a paper crown). This was all matched with wines and champane for the new year. Fantastic! we slept well.
The rest of our time has been taken up with chilling out at the big back table reading, going for a dip in the lagoon at the nearby beach at the Sheratin admiring their over the water bungalows and diving.
We went with the friendly crew at Moorea Fun Dive mainly because they were the only ones answering the phone on the first. It proved a good choice as they picked us up; were efficient and helpful and even suggested they could drop us off later back to our pension so that we could explore that bit of the island. I was concerned that shark feeding is quite comman around here but they didn't do it and we enjoyed a great couple of dives. One at the entrance to Opanohue Bay we went to was called Lemon Shark Valley the other Tatoi. Both were good dives and had visability of 20m. I think all Australian divers are a bit spoilt by how good our coral is but the tropical fishlife was great and we saw loads of sharks, some quite close but none interested in us. The Lemon sharks were 2-3m! There was also the mandetory turtle that always comes to visit me and mantarays; one really huge one.
For our last day we spent the morning biking up to the "Bellevidere" lookout that sees down alot of the north of the island. The one speed bikes needed to be pushed up the last couple of steep kms but definitely sped up our return journey. The road to the lookout goes up through the Opanohue Valley which has many Marae which were special sacred places for the polynesians before the introduction of christianity. They are quite mysterious stone platforms that were used for ceremonies and are all set in lush forest so a nice place to wander around.
If you made it this far thanks. I can't believe I wrote this much on this weird french keyboard. Half the letters and commas have moved.

Photo Galley Here!


At 3 January 2007 at 23:59 , Blogger Colleen said...

My first blog and wondering whether I should have used the post name BigMomma. Glad you are catching up on some sleep. Ditto for the sentiments re house and shed and next time remind me if we agree.

Enjoyed the photos. I will now need to instruct your grandfather on navigating a blog site!

Love you. Enjoy the next leg of the adventure.

At 6 January 2007 at 22:23 , Blogger fishers said...

Hi, This is my "first time" too ! Les and I spent a long time thinking up clever and amusing names for me - but I'm afraid they were largely inappropriate so I've gone just a bit obvious I'm afraid. I guess you don't start a blog with "Dear Katrina and Tom". I'll learn. Do I have to use SMS talk ?? Beautiful photos,we look forward to more. NYE sounded fabulous, as did the diving. I'm glad you enjoyed that watermelon - but, how much were the bananas? I meant to ask Tom - have you read 'Train Man'? Much love Anne.

At 3 February 2007 at 14:51 , Blogger poikatoo said...



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