Papeete - Moorea
Despite spending the night on the floor, waking up before the sun rose and battling the early morning downpour, our spirits were up and we had smiles plastered on our faces…
“Aahhh….sunshine, sand and surf in French Polynesia…”
“Yeah….we can just snorkel, swim and sleep on the sand ALL day!”
“On Moorea island…can’t wait!”
“Err…how do we get there in this rain?”
“Where are the taxis?” None were in sight…
“Let’s cross the main road and take a le truck”
“Ok….run!” With our heavy backpacks, we did not get very far before getting drenched. Fortunately, a kind tour operator with no clients stopped to pick us up and gave us a ride to the dock for the same price as a le truck…
As the sun started to peek, we boarded the Moorea Ferry and journeyed on the seas for an hour as the rain ebbed. At 7.30am, we set foot on Moorea; a beautiful volcanic island with mountain peaks in the clouds and turquoise waters at its edges. An island of lush greens, deep blues and all the colours of a rainbow reflected in its flowers.
We got onto a le truck and headed West around the island to the village of Haapiti to Camping Chez Nelson and were delighted to have a Fare facing the ocean. Too excited to actually relax yet, we dumped our bags and hit the road by foot and visited the little village with roadside cafes, a small supermarket, a little bank and a handful of shops. Friendly locals with flowers in their hair, big smiles on their faces and a spring to their walk greeted us with chirpy “Bonjours!”
Strangely ‘overwhelmed’ to be on this peaceful and serene island, we kicked off our sandals and enjoyed a delicious almond croissant, crepe smothered with nutella and a café au lait in the morning sun…
At noon, the sun came out from behind the clouds and the waters sparkled – an invitation too hard to resist. So we flopped on the beach, soaking up the warmth of the sun and taking an occasional dip in the cool clear waters that lapped gently at the sand. Listening to the waves crash in the distance on the coral reef; a natural surf break that surrounds the island (and other in French Polynesia), and watching little crabs scuttle busily sideways, our muscles began to relax. We lazed the afternoon away…watching the world go by.
“Mmmm…” An eye opened and squinted from the glaring sun.
“Let’s go eat. All this sea air and sitting around doing nothing is making me hungry!”
We went to the Petit Village and sat at The Terrace with a thirst quenching Honani beer, a cheese and egg crepe and a seafood pasta salad at 3pm; when the clouds rolled in again and a soft rain curtained the interior mountains a green-grey. We shielded from the rain for 2 hours and went off to visit neighbouring tattoo studios for the evening. At sunset, we took classic postcard pictures – a must in this Paradise!
At night, a comforting cool sea breeze blew inland as we sat on the front verandah of our wooden Fare.
“What do you want to do for dinner?”
“Dunno. I’m sleepy”
“Yeah, so am I”
“Let’s skip dinner and go to sleep…”
It was lights out at 8pm in Paradise as we drifted off to sleep….finally on a bed!