Going round the island
After we had seen the marae, we got lost in the jungle, but after we had extricated ourselves, we continued along the road up to the Belvedere, the viewing point halfway up the central mountain, from which there is a spectacular view.
We then went on round the island to look for the nice sandy beaches, and we continued our trip round the island.
But first we went up to the Belvedere
And this is the view from the Belvedere. Moorea is essentially a former volcano and this is a view into the caldera of the volcano. In the centre of the photo is Mount Rotui, (the centre of the original volcano?) On either side of it are two bays (which are the flooded plateaus of the caldera?) while the jagged edges are the rim of the volcano.
Two bays are visible. On the left is Opunohu Bay, while on the right is Cook Bay, named after Captain Cook, though in fact Cook anchored and made his headquarters in Opunohu Bay.
This panorama is stitched together from from several different shots, and it is worth viewing full size. Just click on it, and then click again, and then after that press F11 to remove the toolbars and get a full page view. Then use the sidebars to navigate round the photo. Don’t forget afterwards to press F11 again to retrieve the toolbars, and then press the back button to return to the main program.
This is the most spectacular holiday resort on the island, the Sofitel resort with lots of bungalows over the water.
This is not on a lagoon, but on a beach, the Temae beach, the best beach on the island.
And this is the Temae beach, the best sandy beach on the island. We found it after some difficulty - follow signs for the jewellers - we eventually found the beach and not the jewellers.
I must confess we were a little disappointed with the beaches on Tahiti. The problem is the coral, and the coral pebbles are sharp, so it is difficult to go swimming without wearing swimming shoes due to the coral pebbles underneath. Basically we preferred Bondi Beach in Australia, where there is wonderful sand and no pebbles at all.
Still it was pleasantly warm, it was a nice ambiance, and we had a very good swim.
This is what I would love to be able to do – to stand up on a surfboard and paddle myself out – I think it is very clever.
However this shows nicely the situation of the beaches: there is a coral reef some distance out where the waves are breaking, which means that you never get breakers to dive through unless you go out to the coral reef. Wendy loved it because she does not like diving through waves, whereas I rather like having a bit of a challenge from the waves.
And finally it was getting late, so we had to say farewell to the beach and make our way on round the rest of the island till we finally arrived back at the Continental resort — though from the opposite direction
It had been a memorable day!
And after Tahiti we flew on to Easter Island . . .