The Society Islands are probably the islands most people thing of when they think of French Polynesia. After all, this is were Tahiti and Bora Bora are located. We spent several weeks traveling through these islands. Tahiti was our least favorite of them but we did find two islands that were absolutely amazing….Huahine and Maupiti. Yeah, you probably haven’t heard much about these places because they aren’t huge tourist traps but for us, they were the most beautiful with the most wonderful people.
Click on the individual photos for full size versions.
While Tahiti certainly wasn’t our favorite by any stretch we did find a few redeeming qualities. The Bora Bora Lounge was a wonderful spot. Isabel, the manager, is such a sweetheart and their food rocks! The Roulettes (Food Trucks) were good too. It was also a great place to meet up with some of the other cruisers who left Mexico around the same time as us. We didn’t care for the criminal element and gang activity that was readily present all over town. Just off the main drag was an area that was quite seedy. Had it not been for Dan’s keen awareness we could have been robbed there. Fortunately he got us out of the area and back on the main drag quickly. There was also a lot of garbage in the streets….more than we saw in Mexico. But, it was good for provisioning and we were able to get some parts we needed so it worked out find.
Moorea is just a couple hour cruise from Tahiti and seemed like an entirely different world. We very much enjoyed the time we spent there. The famous Bali Hai is no longer there. It’s been bought out and we tried several times to stop in for a sundowner but they were never open. We did find the Kaveka Restaurant on Cooks Bay and enjoyed some overpriced cocktails one afternoon.
There was a wonderful hike up through the mountains to a lookout that looked across Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay. We made that hike with our friends Lutz & Gabi of SV SuAn. We also snorkeled the sunken tikis and went swimming with the stingrays. We even got to feed them.
Bora Bora was a pretty cool spot and had some of the prettiest water we had seen up to that point. We spent an afternoon at the famous Bloody Mary’s Restaurant where Jimmy Buffet has been known to play. The sand floors were cool and the Bloody Marys were spectacular!
We were there during Heiva which is a cultural festival with inter island competitions in singing, dance, canoeing and other Polynesian inspired arts and sports. It rained the night we went but it was still spectacular watching these dancers. Those gals can certainly shake their booties!
We only spent two nights in Huahine and we wished we’d have had time to spend many more. This “non touristy” place is AWESOME! The family in the photo below invited us over to join them. They taught us some French and we taught them English. The Chief beads we are sporting were purchased by Dan from our waiter. His uncle made them for him. It looks some serious wheeling and dealing to get him to give them up but he finally did. We never found anything quite like them again. On a more somber note, this was the last time we got to spend an evening with our dear friends, Ed & Linda of SV One Fine Day. They were hauling out in Raiatea for the cyclone season and we were continuing on.
Had it not been for our friends Lutz & Gabi we may have passed by this brilliant gem of an island. Thank goodness they insisted that we stop there. The water was absolutely unreal! We were able to see the bottom over 200′ down coming in through the pass.
There’s not a whole lot to do in town but we did rent bikes and road around the entire island. It was a great ride with amazing views. And the giant manta rays would swim in the shallows which made for some great viewing. We only planned to spent five days there but ended up staying for about ten. We had a leak in the end cap of our water maker so Dan had to work a fix for us. The first one….with the quarter, didn’t work but the second one using the G10, epoxy and screws worked for well over a month until we could get to American Samoa to get the parts we had shipped in from the states.