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Friday, October 6th, 2006             low/high temp: 24-29C (75 - 84F)
                                                       low/high humidity: 69-94 %
Saturday, October 7th, 2006           low/high temp: 24-31C (75 - 88F)
                                                       low/high humidity: 63-89 %

    Fred planned most of the stops he thought we would enjoy seeing on the Island of Moorea.  He is an excellent trip planner, and we only skipped one of his recommendations, mostly because my sunburn absolutely wiped me out.  We started out on the early morning Moorea Ferry, driving in and getting settled.  While not the fastest, it gave us a smooth ride even though the weather was clearly turning as we departed.

Yikes, big trucks getting on the       Bye bye Papeette.                          Plane taking off from PPT.
Ferries here!  This one was loading
right next door.

The sky is definitely looking different from one direction to another.  We hit a bit of rain on the way.

My lovely bride enjoys the view.     Dark skies approach.                      That's a nice shot..

Cindy LOVES rainbows, and I caught a few shots right after the rain as we approached Moorea.

Yup, big trucks.  Beer truck too!  Locked...

'Point de vue de Toatea' on the island of Moorea.  First stop for photos and a change of scenery.
The huts on the water are part of the Hotel Sofitel chain, if I recall.  Some have glass floors to enable the people to actually look into the water and watch the marine life while at home.

I think Danielle did make it to Tahiti.  Cindy sure loves flowers...          At the Champion grocery store, you can
                                                                                                        purchase spear-guns and such, too!


    Fred and Daniella told us to stop here.  While the weather didn't look promising, we decided to chance it and go.  Once we arrived, the skies really started to clear.  Even though I wore a shirt some of the time, I sun-burned to the color of a ripe tomato.  We had a wonderful time here snorkeling and watching the rays, sharks, sea-tortoise and the multitude of other marine-life.  I highly recommend this to anyone not familiar, like Cindy and me, with snorkeling and such.

Stop here for the boat to the          There's the island we're going to!    Warm as bath water!

Rolling waves away from us.           The inner lagoon.  Yikes, the glare   This water was CLEAR!
                                                    from that white reflection!

Great views either way, quite scenic and absolutely crystal clear.          I loved the colors!

Terns?                                            From above the water, as we didn't know to get a disposable underwater
                                                     camera.  Remember this if you ever go somewhere like this!

The shots of Sting-Rays as they pass right by us.  Very velvety feel to them.

Sharks.  Yep, sharks and very quick!  We saw a larger shark swimming near the netting and he was being followed by some lackey fish, similar to in the movie Finding Nemo.  Just waited for the Australian accent on those sharks...

Feeding time brings the gulls.           Cindy shot these of the waves crashing outside the barrier area.

While walking, I found some hermit crabs scuttling away.  They're tough to catch photos of, very quick.
We also got a couple little 'movies' of them.  Come on over to see them, they're too large for this site.

My lovely lady clowning around.      Gotta get snorkel photos of the two of us, probably the only time it'll happen.

The 'potty' on the Lagoonarium, nothing fancy here, that's for sure...                 Great shot by Cindy!

Here are a couple shots when we arrived back on Moorea.                    There's the boat we used to get
                                                                                                        over to the Lagoonarium back there...

From the Lagoonarium to our hotel.

Fisherman back for the day.            Wow, check out the color!             A good shot of a peak there.

Church of St. Patrick.  A lovely church with an amazing view. The center photo shows the outdoor altar area.

Ready for a break...                       Toasted Russ....                             The leaves used for baskets, hats and such.

About a one minute walk from our room is this lovely beach, and the view was second to none!

Above and below, my lovely bride finds many flowers that capture her attention.
Amazingly, even though everything had pollen on it, my allergies never flared up once!

Above, the 'Rolex' flower, they say you can set your watch
by when it changes color and falls to the ground, thus, the 'Rolex' flower.

Tiki Village

Above and below, I was just playing around with the light settings on the camera during the sunset period.
I think they turned out VERY well.  Check out the small storm over the sea!

Our outdoor dining area.                 I liked this tribal evening shot.        Our native musicians.

They were great, and the lady         Peeling the husk of a coconut.        He's showing the proper place to
on the left had the voice of                                                                strike the coconut to break it open.
an angel.

He opened it first hit!                     Scraping the pulp to make milk.      The earth oven for our supper tonight.
                                                                                                        Under the sand are coconut fiber sacks,
                                                                                                        then banana leaves, then the rack.

Above are the next 2 layers, the sacks are at his feet.                           Our host was awesome!  He was
                                                                                                        absolutely hilarious!

After the demonstrations in the cooking area and village artisans, we then enjoyed all of the local foods they had prepared for us.  Some were awesome, and others questionable.  Overall, very interesting tastes and textures.

Here' we both try a turn at learning the dance.  I am no better than the first time.  The lovely lady directly behind Cindy sat right next to us.  She and her husband were on their honeymoon, and had flown in from Paris!

The dancers were absolutely amazing.  Not only lovely, but they could REALLY move!  Cindy enjoyed the costumes and of course, the men in the grass skirts, too...

The costumes, dancing and of course, the lovely Tahitian ladies.

I think this symbolized the ladies 'fishing' for a good mate.                    Bad photo, but they are carrying a
                                                                                                        large 'oyster'.

Out of the 'oyster' emerged this       More dancers celebrate the release of the imprisoned 'Pearl' Princess.
beautiful 'pearl' dancer, the Princess.

Now, the fire torch show begins, and the ladies moved with their torches in a
very sultry and seductive manner...

The movements of the men, above and below, were very aggressive, fast and furious.
The upper right, two men stand back to back, with a third balanced backwards horizontally at their side!
I'm especially pleased with the photo on the bottom right, flames and a full face inside!
I think it's better than their own advertisement.

Some more awesome examples of their lovely dancers, their sincere smiles and amazing hand made costumes.

The Princess and Prince wed with                        The parade of Tahitian beauties!
the 'Shaman' in the middle.

Saturday Driving the island of Moorea

Clouds on the peaks made for some awesome views.                            One of the two bays on Moorea and
                                                                                                        way up on

I loved this shot.                            Yep, you can rent these, too.          Ancient Tahitian fortress walls.
                                                    WAY more expensive than a regular
                                                    rental car, though!

Sign in the ancient village area.       Cindy and the telegraph tree.         More ancient walls.  Villages had these
                                                                                                        to boundary the village.

We stopped at the School Farm (Lycée Agricole d'Opunohu) for a quick fruit drink.
She was VERY busy, so we waited and chatted.  She thought we were very patient so gave us a second pineapple drink for free!  Below, the sign inviting people in, and a stand of bamboo near where we parked.
Awesome choices of drinks to sample, and the price was quite agreeable.


Cindy sees the 'Love Boat', Tahitian Princess, and has to stop.               We stopped here for a light lunch
                                                                                                        because of the breeze, shade and view.

The colors were breath-taking.        Rural route to the waterfall.            We started to walk, but then found
                                                                                                         out the walk was over 1 hour each
                                                                                                         way.  Maybe next time.

The route was VERY rough on          Recently rebuilt hut.                       Waterfall in the distance.
the rental.

Coconuts.                                      A tiny chapel on Moorea.                Cindy liked this home entrance.

Moorea Ferry back to Pappeete

    Fred told us we didn't need to arrive too early at the Moorea Ferry.  It was scheduled to leave at 16:30, and I told Fred we'd arrive around 15:30.  He was 'shocked' and said' oh no, arrive at maybe 16:15.  Well, neither Cindy nor I are good last minute people while on vacation.  We arrived at about 15:20.  The gentlemen were standing at the entrance to the Ferry, with Tahitian music in the background.  He pointed us to park off the Ferry and wait.  I walked up and asked what was happening, and he asked if we had tickets for the Ferry.  When I showed him, he invited us in for the celebration in the bay of the Ferry.  The celebration was because it was the 5th Anniversary of the Moorea Ferry commencing operation.  This included free food, free Hinanu Beer on tap, and dessert.  The meal was served buffet style on the back of a flatbed truck, obviously cooked by the wives and girlfriends of the owners and workers.  Yes, I said free beer.  The food was awesome, the music great, and the folks absolutely bent over backwards to make us feel VERY welcome to their celebration.

There's the Moorea Ferry!               Folks on the ramp celebrating.         The band.

There's us in front of the flat-bed.    The food on the truck.                   Cindy LOVED the desserts!
I'm a bit sun-burned, eh?!?                                                                    Best of the year she claimed.

Standing on the dock, there were tons of brightly colored fish darting about at the base of the ship.

Paul, another canon!                       Yep, 2 glasses of water and lots of Hinano Beer, the beer of Tahiti!

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