Celebrating the transition into retirement part five ~ Tahiti – a paradise
The flight from LAX to Tahiti was 8 ½ hours, with a 3-hour time difference.
On arrival in Tahiti, we took a taxi to the ferry port and 45 minutes later the ferry deposited us on Moorea – oh, what heaven … talk about a beautiful tropical island! We liked Moorea the best of all the six French Polynesian islands we visited, even more than Bora Bora: very green, lots of forests, jagged peaks, amazing blue sea all around.
Our hotel, the Pearl Resort Moorea, was lovely. We had sourced an overwater bungalow on booking.com at a good price so everything was perfect.
Left: Lunch in Moorea: quiche and ‘salad’ (R60 for the ‘salad’)
How did we spend our 4 days on beautiful Moorea?
- diving and jumping off the deck of our bungalow into the warmest blue sea;
- Snorkelling around the legs of the bungalows, though the fish weren’t plentiful;
- Kayaking around the hotel’s waters;
- Walking to the little town of Maharepa on hot humid days, wishing for shade;
- Sitting on the ocean edge under cream-coloured umbrellas having fish lunch at the Moorea Beach Café;
- Trying to find affordable lunch and dinner venues. A bad decision was quiche and lettuce leaves – US$5 for the lettuce leaves (that’s R60 … for lettuce leaves! Their version of salad!)
- Shopping for Tahitian black pearls (so-called for their dark coloured outer shells) and finding the perfect pendant;
- Standing in waist-deep water with stingrays and black-tip sharks swarming around our ankles while the tour guide fed them;
- Stroking the stingrays’ slimy backs time and again (we know scuba divers don’t usually touch!);
- Jetski tandem ride across the lagoon, the best fun;
- Watching little fish swim below in the glass window on our bungalow’s floor;
- Watching the hotel’s FP dancers at dinner one evening;
- Beautiful sunsets (but those in Cape Town are nicer);
- Scuba diving one day;
- Wishing the FP knew how to make a yummy cappuccino.
Before the cruise, I had enrolled on Cruise Critic which enables you to find your cruise line (Oceania) and your ship (Marina) and your sail date (4 April) and chat to fellow guests online. This is called the Roll Call and ours was very active with close to 3,000 posts. I would say there are usually a few hundred posts per cruise.
The most active lady, Karen from Vancouver, arranged for a group of us to get together for dinner on Moorea as, like us, a lot of people arrived ahead of the cruise date to enjoy a few days on the islands. We joined about 20 fellow passengers ahead of our cruise and got to meet them and chat over dinner. This was such a good idea as we have had constant friends to say hello to on board and chat about our excursions, meet for trivia, and so on.
Above: Mike on his jet-ski safari
The next blog will be about our ship and the French Polynesian islands we visited.