Moorea was the second of the French Polynesian Islands we visited. It’s only a short sail from the main island of Tahiti, but it seems a world away. Moorea is not pronounced Moo-ree-ah but Moe-oh-ray-ah (you pronounce all the vowels separately.) It was by far our favorite of the islands for its rugged beauty and friendly people.
If you are a fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” you might try humming “Bali Hai” as you gaze at the tall peak with the greenery on its nearly vertical slopes. That is the famous mountain from the song.
Our tour of Moorea took us to a Marae – an ancient Polynesian temple. Only the foundation stones remain now, but the Tahitians still regard the site as sacred ground. This Marae was one of the larger and more imposing ones. They probably made some human sacrifices here, but our guide said they only do that on Saturday now, so because we visited on Sunday we were safe. 🙂
We also went to a cultural center where we had a good introduction to the old school Moorean way of life. We even saw how the Tahitians go about making a pig roast luau.
Here’s the view of the beach at the cultural center. Not too shabby.
And when our tour finished we returned to the ship to watch the afternoon shadows play over this most beautiful island. Well worth the visit.