Posted by Manon CORNIC In: French Polynesia, Moorea

Moorea: a taste of Paradise.

An island… “An island off the coast of Hope”…I remember suddenly the words of Jacques Brel, lover of the Marquesas…when I take the ferry to reach Moorea. If the Belgium singer was in love of French Polynesia, I feel wrapped by a warm feeling when I’m sitting at the front of the boat, dazzled by the crystal-clear morning light and the pacific ocean as calm as a lake.

Approaching the coast, I’m suddenly speechless by the vision of only one shade of the chromatic field: Green. A straight & predominant green. A green that leaves any doubt: Nature only. Nature with all its rights! Am I the witness of birth of a new world?

Ferry - Moorea
Baie de Cook - Moorea

Amazed by the beautiful brutality of the landscapes & the exuberant flora, it’s an absolute contrast with its older sister –and rival- Tahiti. Only ½ hour from Tahiti & I’m taking a trip back in time!  

The boat arrives at 7am and I decide to have a coffee in a local bar facing the jetty… I immediately feel the atmosphere of serenity…just “disturbed” by the singing of the birds. After my coffee-break I realize there is no bus or taxi near the jetty!

As I want to go the first “Traditional Tattoo Festival” in the mythical bays of Cook, I feel suddenly upset ! My concern disappears by the intervention of a friendly Moorean, she has a warm smile and asks me if I need help?….

I’m surprised by her sincere concern! Indeed, in France nobody cares if you’re “lost”!

She explains that she’s working near Cook Bay and proposes me to bring me there, after 2 urgent appointments… She suggests me to go to TEMEA Beach and meet me at 11am.  I agree on this schedule and I leave her, with a terrible doubt about her promis (This bloody French lack of trust! 😉

I decide to walk across the Sofitel hotel-complex, built as a fictitious set -like a Disney attraction. I bump into a group of tourists with an arrogant & satisfied smiles,  convinced to “live Polynesia in THE Authentic way” (…  with the obvious fact they will not leave the hotel all their vacations!) I’m walk through a huge coconut plantation, and after 15 minutes I discover the idyllic TEMAE facing Tahiti Island. OMG! My real First crush! I sit in front of the clear & luminescent lagoon, and give myself 3 deserved hours of Divine Happiness! …

Jardin Temae - Moorea
Piloti Temae - Moorea
Lagon Temae - Moorea
Lagon Temae - Moorea

What a nice surprise when I discover my lovely driver at the point of our appointment! I feel moved!  ! I take a seat on her car and we hit the road to the Famous bay of Cook. On the way, we’re having an interesting chat having regards the social changes in Polynesia…

She reveals a fair pride of Moorea, her birth island. After 10 years in Tahiti, she admits that the main island has changed in a bad way: “too noisy, too greedy!” According to her experiment, she prefers to get less money in Moorea than live in a place that she does not love anymore.

The road to the the magic bay is pure magic, a melody of grace & splendors.  I leave my friendly Moorean at Cook bay with a twinge of regret. This free kindness is so rare!

Supreme beauty In the heart of Cook’s bay, I’m once again amazed by surroundings! Suddenly I remember the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” with the Star Marlon Brando.  But the “picture” in front of me is REAL this time! It’s not a cinematographic se, it’s Reality. The “Traditional Tattoo festival” is frustrating & disappointing by an obvious Business spirit… I don’t stay and take a taxi to reach the opposite side of the island. I meet some locals, warm and smiling… surprised that I’m alone without “a  tané” (husband)….and more than surprised to know that I’m just travelling for my pleasure (and not for a Honeymoon ! 😉

Festival Tatao - Moorea

The island of Moorea seems to me as a pure MARVEL… and I meet a French expatriate laughing at me with a ironical sense of humor: “God! If you are happy here…Prepare yourself to die in Maupiti! It’s More than BEAUTIFUL! “(Sounds good to me! I must book a trip there! 😉

* Accomodation : Near the charming village of Haapiti (north / west) I feel the real Tahitian way of life in a lovely & typical house “The Faré Tianina Dream” located on a pristine private beach; in a peaceful & magical environment. Once again, I’m happily surprised by this second house suggested by REVA DREAMS RENTAL (There’s no doubt: that’s a very serious agency) I stay 2 nights… with a really busy program: NOTHING. Just LIVE! 😉

Tianina façade - Moorea
Tianina salon - Moorea
Tianina terrasse - Moorea

Restaurants: Two places on my podium! 1/ The excellent “MAYFLOWER” offering a refined cuisine in a patio ! (and You must taste the” Salmon of the Gods!” : Divine!) 2/ for a family Polynesian dinner, cooked with heart: the “TIAHURA”. Just Book & Enjoy…your meal! “Tamaa Maitai! “

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