Day 240, Year 1: Drive About Beautiful Moorea
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Weather: Fantastic!
Location: Cook’s Bay, Moorea (Society Islands, French Polynesia)

The beauty of this place is indescribable. The mountains and spires that loom above us are just breathtaking. Today we took a ride with the folks from Quantum Leap in their rental car. We drove from here in Cook’s Bay around to Opunohu Bay and then up into the mountains to a viewpoint that was spectacular. The drive to Opunohu Bay took us out to the coral reef that surrounds the island. A number of boats are anchored out there now that the winds have died down and it looks most inviting. The waters are shallow and turquoise blue with lots of coral visible from land. The beaches have white, white sand. We had lunch at a hotel on the reef and watched kite surfers who put on quite a show. It was a great afternoon and when we returned to the Bali Hai, our homebase here, Mark and I set off for the internet café to try and send pictures to the website. Unfortunately we got there after 4:00 which is closing time, so we will have to try again tomorrow or Friday. The enjoyed the walk even though we were unsuccessful in our quest. The road that goes all the way around this island is right on the water’s edge, so the views are great as you walk.

As we drove around today, we all discussed how to describe to others what it is like here. Someone said it is like Hawaii 50 years ago. It reminds me of the western coast of south Florida in the 1960’s, with the addition of the mountains. It is much less developed than I anticipated, but at the same time I would say the people here are very much living in the 21st century with one foot embedded in an ancient past. Tomorrow when we drive the entire island I am hoping to have a better handle on how to describe it to you.

Tonight we attended the Polynesian dance show at the hotel. The dancing was not as good as some we have seen in the Marquesas, but it was still fascinating to watch. We had a great dinner afterwards and met more people who are staying at the hotel. Most of them own time shares here. If they didn’t have the time share, they would be paying about $170 per night at the Bali High. At another hotel on the east side of the island we hear the rooms go for $780 per night. I want to see this place tomorrow and will let you know what makes it worth that much money!

060614 Day 240 Society Islands, Moorea–Island Drive About, Evening at Bali Hai