Saturday, June 21, 2014

Moorea: The Real Bali Hi

  Moorea is the real Bali Hi! It is also the most natural of the Leeward group of the Society Islands so far. Tahiti was disappointing with the development and lack of feel for the Polynesian environment. Of course, we were mostly in the Papeete area so we did not experience anchoring around the island. So Moorea feels like the real thing!

At anchor in Moorea
The anchorage was lovely with several WARC boats there with us. It was a quiet place - even with a few WARC boats there. We rented a car to drive around the island since it was Sunday and nothing was open. We seem to arrive at each destination just in time for a weekend or a holiday when everything is closed!

On our way around the island, we found several interesting sites including another of the sacred sites. These sites have been well preserved and are marked with information boards so you can get some explanation. However, most of them are not in English so we struggle to read the French!

One road took us up near the top of a mountain where you could hike to see a waterfall. We opted just to enjoy the view of the harbor below. The clouds were very low and it was misty so it felt like we were in a rain forest.
We saw this curious tradition here: couples write their names on padlocks and hang lock them onto this fence. They mark dates and other notations. Obviously it is a local custom among those in love. It was interesting to see.
There are several major hotel resorts here with lovely beaches. As usual the expensive real estate is owned by corporations. Since it was Sunday and nothing was open, lunch was at one of the hotels on the patio. Lovely setting; good food; nice presentation. But no contact with the local people or culture. 
We mostly used the days here to relax and spend family time together. It was fun to have Barb and Joe join us on their way home from Australia. They will sail with us to Bora Bora and stop at several other islands along the way.

As we frequently do, we attended the Catholic Church on Sunday. Once again it was a lovely service in French and the native language. The singing is so up lifting. The happiness of the people come through in their voices. There was the cutest little girl behind us. She was so photogenic so I asked her mother if I could photograph her.

Everywhere we have visited has been a lovely experience with the people. They are all so friendly and happy. You might think their standard of living is so low that they would be unhappy. However, their pace of life and needs are less demanding than ours. There is much to be said about a simple life style!


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