Moorea, French Polynesia Friday 6/29 10:00 AM Ginger
We left Tahiti last Wednesday to spend a couple of days at Moorea. This island is to Tahiti as Bainbridge Island is to Seattle. There are 12000 residents on the island and many of them commute by ferry to Tahiti for work. We went to Cooks Bay last Wednesday to see the Polynesian dance show. It was a good show and as a bonus didn't involve paying $80 for a traditional buffet so it fit our budget too ($5 per person). Thursday we tidied up the boat, had lunch and then headed to the next bay west,
Oponohu Bay. We anchored just inside the pass in the lagoon. The mountain visible from our anchorage is a view we've seen before from photographs. We read that this island was the inspiration for the fictional island of Bali Hai. We enjoyed hiking through a marae (old village site) and up to a lookout with Janet from Blue Stocking and the Gato Go crew. The trip back to the boat was made more strenuous by the fact that our pre-purchased bread had to be picked up by 12 noon when the store closed
for lunch. We ran the last 15 minutes and just made it to get our bread. So, sore but well fed we swam a little in the afternoon and enjoyed the sun. The next morning we were up bright and early for another hike with the whole Blue Stocking crew. Though this "hike" is a dotted line on the map in the Lonely Planet book it was actually a scramble to a knife edge ridge "trail." We asked the security guard at the Sheraton Hotel where to start the hike. He cheerfully pointed us to a driveway. We
asked the homeowner permission to walk through their back yard and hike. She held her unhappy dog as we started climbing the path. It felt a bit like climbing her rockery and as I hoisted myself over a large boulder I asked her over my shoulder if the whole trail was this way. She smiled and said it was. I thought the smile meant she was kidding, but she wasn't. The lower ridge wasn't too bad. There was a little bit of bush wacking but someone had been through with a knife and cut some back.
Of course, Peter had his machete so any large branches across the trail were easily dispatched. As we got higher there was actually an eye cemented in the rock for a safety line. As we had no line we were on our own. At the top of this climb began the trail on the ridge. The drop off on either side was a few hundred feet. The sun was shining and the views were incredible. Janet Paul and I stopped at about 1200 feet. Peter and the two boys continued on to what appeared to be the summit. They
turned around at 1800 feet when they could finally see the real summit 1200 feet higher. Luckily we had started early but as the day heated up so did the rocks. We regrouped at a shady spot overlooking the anchorage. The boys realized a GPS was back up the trail and Peter and Jeremy went in search of the GPS. After a fruitless hour of searching on the hot slope we were on our way back down. The wind was coming up and it was once again time to run back to the boat to get the awning down and out
of the wind.
The next day was spent recovering from our hikes. We were both very stiff and sore and would have really enjoyed a good soak in a hot tub. More boat straightening and some bottom cleaning were of course in order.
Tuesday was time to get the bikes out and see more of the island. We rode toward the east side of the island and were forced by a rain shower to take shelter in a fantastic patisserie. After a little snack we were back on our way to the boat, picked up a few groceries and got 19 of the 20 eggs back in one piece.
Bold Spirit, our friends from Zihuatenejo anchored near us and we caught up with them over a fantastic dinner made by Kathi. We mailed our customs departure form back to Papeete and had a quick hamburger and fishburger lunch at the nearby hotel yesterday. We haven't had many restaurant meals here because it is really as expensive as reported. (2 burgers, 3 draft pilsner beers $45!!)
The last couple of days have been cooler, windy and cloudy. We woke this morning to temps in the mid 70's (brrr), had to put a blanket on the bed last night. The wind has really picked up and the seas are reported to be 4.5 meters. There is a near gale (50-60 knots) just south of us and there are special weather bulletins out for the storm. So, the boat is ready to go to Bora Bora. Everything is stowed and we're hanging out today waiting for better weather. We decided if we need bread we'll
swim ashore with a dry bag to go to the store.
The passage to Bora Bora is approx 140 miles so it should take about 24 hours. Best to go with a little wind but we don't want to be out in the middle of a storm.
We ordered a couple of books to be sent to American Samoa. All of a sudden Amazon is so efficient it's hard to believe. I couldn't get books last summer to save my life in Seattle with a 2 week lead time. Our books were shipped and have already arrived in American Samoa (4 days!!) so we have to get there by 7/26 before the post office starts returning things. We're looking forward to Samoa, Tonga and Fiji and the passages (and less expensive restaurants) in between.
Labels: 2007 - 04 - 06 French Polynesia