After leaving Honolulu, we spent five days at sea before arriving at the island of Moorea, in French Polynesia.
The cruise itinerary originally had a stop in Bora Bora, but in order to preserve the island's ecosystem, the authorities stopped allowing large ships to dock there anymore. The itinerary was changed to stop in Moorea for 2 days instead. This actually ended up being perfect for us as we were able to take more time exploring the island in more detail.
Dom was excited to finally travel to a place where he could speak French with the locals. It sure came in handy for getting directions, understanding the motorbike instructions, and figuring out the local taxis!
On our first day, we rented motorbikes and drove the ~60km clockwise loop around the entire coast of the island.
Our first stop was at the Belvedere lookout where you can see a view of Mount Routui. The road to get up here was rather steep and winding - a bit unnerving since none of us had been on a motorbike in some time, but the warm scenic ride up was definitely worth it!
After travelling and hiking in so many different places around the world to see so many viewpoints, sunrises, sunsets, etc., we figured this would just be another typical viewpoint. To our delight, this viewpoint showed us what an absolute magical paradise Moorea is. We were all blown away with the stunning scenery. The turquoise colours of the sea, the light mist, the lush vegetation of the forest - it was unreal. It felt like we were on the beautiful island from Jurassic Park!
We spent a pretty long time taking pictures here, but sadly, the pictures don't come anywhere close to conveying how magical and stunning the island felt in real life.
On the way back down, we stopped by the side of the road to see the local pineapple plantation. As we strolled through the area, we could smell the sweet pineapple scent every once in a while.
The next stop was at the Routui juice factory where we sampled some juices and alcoholic beverages. The Tahiti Drink - Strawberry Daiquiri was the best, so we bought a carton (for about $10cad) to enjoy on the ship.
Lastly, we stopped at the Toatea viewpoint where we saw a beautiful view of the Sofitel over-water bungalows hotel and surrounding waters. We were amazed at how beautifully turquoise and clear the water was - the pictures of Moorea really don't capture how breathtaking all of the views were in!
We then completed the rest of the island loop to returned the motorbikes and taxied back to the ship for a late-afternoon lunch.
There was a beautiful sunset over the island that evening.. the perfect way to end our adventurous day in paradise.