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Cindy's Journal

Moorea


We crashed for a couple of hours and when we woke up we went for a swim down the ladder of our bungalow. Oh boy, I could have gotten used to that! We even fed the fish from our glass coffee table. It hinged up so we could drop bread crumbs down. Very cool. The people at the hotel were very nice. They kept giving us pineapple juice and they had little baskets in the reception area full of flowers to tuck behind your ear. I wore flowers in my hair every day. Everything smelled heavenly, including me since I helped myself to the complimentary shampoo, soap, and moisturizer. They all had tiare in them and I think that is similar to a gardenia. Anyway, what a way to start a honeymoon. That first evening we were off to a restaurant which had a wonderful reputation. Celine at the reception desk raved about it. It’s in Cook’s Bay and she said we should go on our last night. So I said, How about our first night and that’s where we went our first night—a little place called Honuiti. At Honuiti we had a yummy dinner. There was a little bit of a language barrier. We wanted to split one entrée but she said, “2 plates?” and we thought she meant 1 empty one for us to transfer 1/2 the meal onto, but in the end we got 2 meals. A lot of food. Very delicious vegetable soup and we got to eat profiteroles which are wonderful.

The restaurant is on Cook’s Bay and is said to have an incredible view, but it was night and very dark and so we couldn’t see a thing. We were both zonked and could barely stay awake but we had to wait since there were two other couples from our hotel and one shuttle to take us all back.
Tahiti is truly a place for honeymooners. We met a couple who were married the same day we were. It is such a beautiful place and it’s all about relaxing and having a good time. The people are friendly. The views from the overwater bungalow were spectacular. It didn’t seem real. It was nice to get away and see a place where every inch wasn’t covered with homes, cars, roads. I loved the slower pace and Dmitri seemed happy and relaxed.

While we were on Moorea, we took a jeep safari to see a bit more of the island. Our guide was Bubba, a very nice man who had lived in Montana and had gone to high school and college there. He took us to see pineapple fields, vanilla plants, an agricultural school and this place called Belvedere, with spectacular views of Cook’s Bay and Opunuhoe Bay. Opunuhoe means stomach of the stone fish. We walked up to this waterfall, but since it was the dry season there wasn’t very much water. When we returned to the jeep, Bubba had cut up some pineapple, which was sweet (especially the middle part) and passion fruit, which was very tart. We met a couple, Dan and Tiffany, from Santa Rosa and had lunch with them when we returned to the hotel. After lunch, we went to the other side of the island to look at black pearls—gorgeous, but prohibitively expensive—and do a little shopping. We tried to find saline for our contact lenses, but were unsuccessful that day. We asked the concierge in our hotel and were told that Tahitians have very good eyesight and so we would be lucky to find anything. We eventually did find saline, but it was outrageously expensive—like many things in Tahiti.

We had dinner reservations that night, but cancelled since we just wanted to munch on snacks and hang around the hotel. We caught a few minutes of the Polynesian dance show. We also decided to cancel a shark feeding trip since we just wanted to hang around and enjoy the hotel and not book up every minute with excursions. So we lounged on our porch and read and swam and finally got to some of those thank you cards. We rented some bikes and cruised up to the pharmacy a little ways from our hotel. We also went to the post office and ate lunch at this cute little restaurant called La Case restaurant. We tried the island special, poisson cru, which is raw fish marinated in coconut and lime juice. When we returned from our bike excursion, Dmitri indulged in a long nap (you can do this while on vacation) and I read on the porch of our bungalow. I went and got some fins and did a little snorkeling and loved that I was able to just go down the private ladder from the bungalow right into the water. Heaven!. At Happy Hour that night, we ran into Dan and Tiffany again and we were delighted to discover that the finger food at the bar was coconut. They had a two for one drink special and we found out when we ordered that they brought two drinks for every person. Oh well. Why not?

 

This is our resort, the Sofitel Ia Ora on Moorea. Our bungalow was the one at the end of that long walkway and to the right. We could look across the water towards Papeete or back towards the coast of Moorea. And, of course, we could jump off our deck into the lagoon. So nice!

View from inside the bungalow to the deck. Cindy is not faking this smile.

There was a stair down to the lagoon, but who doesn't jump off their deck into the ocean whenever possible? Notice the Michigan tan on this guy.

"Jeep safari" is a fancy term for "drive tourists around the island and have them give you money." But with the views, you'd pay. Trust me. And then chubby driver guy (at right) hacked open fresh pineapples with a machete.

Us at the Belvedere lookout point. That's Belvedere behind us, which separates two bays: Cooks Bay and Opunohoe Bay. We're told that Cook actually arrived at the other bay. Ok, then.

Hanging out at a little open-air French bistro. Man, I look drugged. Well, maybe jet-lagged and supremely relaxed.

Can't swing a dead cat without running into honeymooners in Tahiti. These were the first ones we met, a nice couple named the LaBranches.

Cindy in the lagoon. You can see the other bungalows in the back to see what ours looked like. Frankly, I thought the coolest part was the coffee table that opened up to the water below. The marine life was so thick there that you could drop a bread crumb and get near-instant swarms of beautiful fish.

Nightly traditional dancing at the resort. Tahitians take their dancing very seriously, but seem to genuinely enjoy it every minute.

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