“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” -C.S. Lewis
It was just a couple days sailing to the Society islands which is what most people think of when they hear French Polynesia. We arrived in Tahiti just in time for the Heiva festival, a week long event of singing, dancing and all sorts of interesting competitions. We saw coconut opening, javelin throwing and stone lifting. We went to Pape’ete to walk around, looked at Tahitian pearls and checked out Pointe Venus which is where Captain Cook went to trace the path of Venus across the sun’s surface. We ate a lot (and I mean a lot) of baguettes and enjoyed using free WiFi at a cafe (which is almost unheard of in the South Pacific).
From there is was just a couple hour sail to Mo’orea. We were planning to stay only a few days but the winds were strong so we stayed a week until it was safe to head out. Mo’orea was my favorite of the Society islands. We went to a botanical garden and tried fresh jam, walked to a beautiful lookout over the bay, picked fruit off trees (we did this everywhere actually – when we found grapefruit I was practically making love to it while I ate. It would have been embarrassing watching myself) and ate more baguette (we were missing bread… and fruit and vegetables and nuts and tofu. Please anything but more oatmeal, white pasta and canned crap. Maybe the life of a sailor is not for me). One night we stayed up too late and I must have been worn down because I got a pretty bad cold (see above to what I’d been eating). But it was a great place to recover. Ez went for runs and we crashed the Hilton and used their Wifi. We had a lot of trip planning to do, plus Ezra’s parents were meeting us in Fiji and we needed to coordinate with them.
One night we saw a ring around the moon. We called it a “moonbow.” Later we found out it’s ice crystals that you can sometimes see around a full moon. We wondered if we’d ever see this again. It looked unreal.
By the time the winds had died down we were behind schedule and had to cut out most of our time in Bora Bora. We did get to check out the town and spent a day walking around. The lagoon was beautiful and while I would have liked more time here, I was actually glad we had traded it for more time in Mo’orea. It seemed more old school French Polynesia to me and I got a better feel for the culture. Bora Bora seemed more of a playground for high end tourists, not that there’s anything wrong with that, its just not what I’m after when I travel (I am also broke and would probably be ushered out of a high end resort. At this point showering was not a common occurrence). I didn’t get much time to explore the island though so I could be wrong. The water was beautiful nonetheless.
We spent six weeks all in all in French Polynesia and I feel like we really got to see and experience a wide array of islands and met many friendly people. This is a place we will probably never come back to and am grateful for the length of time we got spend here.