Monday, October 18, 2010


DAY 26 Today we explore Moorea! This is another tender port and we want off early so we head down to catch a ride as soon as we see the tenders start to run. We have a run-in with the Cruise Director, Elizabeth, over our priority tender privileges but we get off and will settle that score when we get back on the ship.
Before reaching the Avis lady, set up under an umbrella right at the end of the dock, Carolyn finds a vendor selling very nice, hand done bone knives. We acquire one for our collection of this sort of stuff and then get our car and head out to drive around the island in a counter clockwise direction.

The interior mountains are heavy with cloud and it begins to rain as we pull out of the parking lot but, by now, we are used to this weather. We want to drive up to Mt. Belvedere to see the view of Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay but decide to try that later in hopes of some clearing. We complete the circuit, about 60km with very few stops, and continue on out to take a shot at the view from Mt. Belvedere.

We are in luck as the clouds have lifted and the rain has stopped. The view of the two bays is spectacular and one of the 1,001 things to do before you die. We can check this one off. Heading down the mountain, we stop at yet more Maraes; one with an archery range attached for ritual competitions. We also see a large pinnapple farm. We stop there later before going back to the ship and buy some pinnapple liquor.  At the bottom of the hill, we stop at a snack stand and buy two sandwiches, a coke and a piece of banana cake. Bananas are everywhere in these islands!

Now, we drive around the island counter clockwise. We make a couple of stops at the little shops we saw earlier picking up a couple of gifts and we stop at a public beach to just wade in the water since we didn’t wear our swim suits today. We fill the gas tank and return the car about 3:30PM. Carolyn makes one last purchase at the crafts market by the dock, a hand dyed caftan. All the Tahitian islands have had craft markets set up at the piers, but this one has the nicest things and the best prices. Mostly the others were shell jewelry and wraps.

                                            Looking into the water at tender dock...clear!

We have a drink in the Crow’s Nest and watch sail away then go back to the room and order a room service dinner, watch another movie and call it a night.

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