We woke up to sunny skies today, and packed up our bags to head over to the island of Moorea. French Polynesia is made up of 118 islands, and we generally aren’t known to stay in only one place during our trips, so we knew we wanted to explore more of the area. Everyone has seen the beautiful pictures of Bora Bora on their screensavers, but honestly, IT IS PRICEY. If you have the money to spend, go for it, but we decided that Moorea was the island for us. Moorea is also stunningly beautiful, the resorts, while expensive, are more affordable than Bora Bora, and a huge plus is that it is accessible by a cheap, short ferry from Tahiti (you have to take a plane to Bora Bora, and no surprise, that isn’t cheap either!).
You don’t need to buy a ticket in advance for the ferry, so we waited until the day we were traveling, and our taxi driver pointed us to the ticket counter when we arrived at the ferry terminal. There are only two companies, and they each take several trips per day back and forth. You can also take your rental car on the ferry if you have one. They serve snacks on board, and have seats inside and outside. It was only about $30 per person to travel round trip on the ferry, and 30 minutes or so to get to paradise.
Our stop for the next two nights was Manava Resort. Manava has a mix of overwater bungalows and regular resort rooms, and the grounds were beautiful. There were quite a few bugs here, and I definitely got the most mosquito bites at this resort, but their plants were lovely 😉 We got a welcome fruit drink while waiting for our room to be ready, and hung out in one of the restaurants on property. We also checked out the entertainment offerings, and noted that the following evening there was a Polynesian show and bbq buffet planned.
After getting in our room and getting our luggage delivered (this place was serious about not letting you move your own luggage anywhere!), we went to relax by the pool. The pool at Manava is a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean and the overwater bungalows (see above), but was also definitely. . . . refreshing! I did get in twice, but it was more the temperature of a competition swim pool than a relaxing/lounging pool. There was a complimentary flower crown class this afternoon, so I meandered over to the bar to get my craft on. They had a huge pile of flowers and leaves (maybe from all of the beautiful plants on property), and a lovely woman who was helping out and showing us how to wrap the plants onto the crown.
After I finished my crown, we popped over to a table for a happy hour drink (all fruity drinks here!), and then got a local pizza place to deliver to the resort. Allo Pizza had good reviews online, and without a rental car, we needed somewhere that would deliver. They love pizza in French Polynesia, and this wood-fired pizza was pretty good, but still not up to the standards we are used to at home. The Margarita was good ,the Hawaiian was okay (again, strange lunchmeat in these parts), and for the first time ever, I had a banana pizza (with chocolate chips and cream) that was strangely delicious. Sun was down, so called it a night to get ready for the next (big) day.