Welcome to the Society Islands- Moorea!

Day 1 – What Continent are We On?

According to encyclopedia Britannica, the French Polynesian Islands are part of the globe called Oceania. Which, for debate purposes, is not considered a continent. So, I guess to answer the question, the answer is we aren’t technically on a continent, just chillin’ in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a bunch of islands. I guess that makes this adventure even better!

This adventure starts with Katie turning 40 and wondering where on Earth is the best place to commiserate, aka celebrate the milestone birthday. A 5 hour flight to LA, followed by an 8 hour flight to Papeete, Tahiti, a taxi to the ferry terminal, and finally a boat ride on the Aremiti and we have arrived in Moorea!

Welcome to Moorea!

Moorea is a South Pacific Island, part of the French Polynesian Society Islands.  Upon arrival, its not hard to see why they are known for outdoor activities, the mountainous terrain, lush greenery, and STUNNING blue waters. 

Fighting off a long day/night of travel, we jump into our small rental car, and begin our day ready to see what this island has to offer. Our 4:50 am arrival didn’t slow us down.

A quick stop at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon to change (too early to check in), and we are off to catch a boat to Coco Beach.

This excursion is a gem!  We park the car, hop on a boat, and we settle into the Coco Beach Restaurant on an island in the middle of the lagoon.  Our table for the entire day provides us epic views, endless snorkeling, and a restaurant that provides delicious local dishes and local beers!

Our first order is a local favorite, poisson cru.  An incredibly delicious mix of raw tuna marinated in lime juice, fresh coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, ginger, and carrots.

Perfect first afternoon!  Chasing fish in the clearest water you can imagine, pausing to relax for a cold beverage, and eating fresh fish isn’t a bad way to start your French Polynesian holiday.

After a beer and some lunch, we jump in to explore the perfect aquarium. There are fish and coral everywhere. Just ask Scott’s finger… grabbing on to get a little closer to Nemo, he sliced his finger.  Luckily, nothing a little pressure and bandage couldn’t fix. Needless to say, the clarity and underwater exploring has got to be some of the best in the world!

We battled through a little jetlag and capped off our first full day catching a beautiful sunset at Ta’ahiamanu Beach.

Oh, and some yummy pizza from Allo Pizza enjoyed on our hotel’s beachfront as the day winded down.

Day 2 – Hiking Moorea

Adjusting to Tahiti time (6 hour difference) is going to take a few days. So, we wake up this morning, wide awake at 5 am, waiting for the day to begin… a day of hikes around Moorea!

Arriving at Belvedere Lookout, we were excited to jump on the Trois Pinus trail.  However, not too far in, we realized something… HOLY HOT AND HUMID! 

It didn’t deter us from trekking down, then up, enduring several switchbacks along this trail through a lush rainforest in the center of the island. Incredibly beautiful!

Have we mentioned it was hot & humid yet? 

As we navigated through a sweaty trek, we were thrilled to get to the what has to be one of the world’s coolest swings!  This epic swing provides incredible views overlooking Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay. 

After a sweat filled journey back to our car, we decide to take in the island by driving (with a little less hiking) the entire ring road all the way around, stopping to explore along the way.

This drive gives us a little more insight into how the locals live. It’s a small island, with only 19,000 residents. With NO exports, they rely on tourism and self sustaining practices: fishing, farming, etc, living a happy, simple, proud life!

We grab a few local beers, Hinano, from the market to bring back to our hotel to enjoy sunset on our boardwalk!

We capped off day two with dinner at Rudy’s Restaurant, a highly recommended restaurant, where we ate some more poisson cru and lobster. Good, but meh considering the hype.

Back in the water tomorrow morning, with our new friend, Wilfred!

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