Tag Archives: motu

Day 14 – A Beach on a Motu

Friday was a beautiful day. We started with taking pictures of the sunrise, which meant a walk to the end of the pier at the resort and watching for the sun behind Mt. Rotui and some clouds, so it was not exactly the same as other sunrises we’ve watched, but it beat yesterday when there was nothing but cloud and rain.

We rented a kayak for our second attempt to cross the lagoon channel and get to the motus.  Success this time.  The kayak responded much nicer than the outrigger canoe.  It still took some work, but in general it was a much more positive experience.  Of the two motus, most of the property, meaning beaches, are privately owned, so we had to be careful where we landed.  We ended up on a not quite pristine white sand beach, instead pulling up on some rocks that had sand covered with pine needles.  That’s okay, we were there for the snorkelling more than the beach.


The snorkelling was good, but by this time we had figured out that our best experiences were by far in Bora Bora.  This was still fun, but after maybe an hour we had had enough.  After that time we still hadn’t seen any stingrays, but we had been out to where the lagoon meets the reef.  The current was very strong there, and the waves crashing into the reef meant that we couldn’t even think about trying to see what the water was like outside the reef.

After a break we decided to try to find some stingrays.  We had luck only because we creeped into a tour group who had a guy leading the tour that was feeding them.  We spent maybe 10 minutes with them, and had a chance to touch a couple.  They are very gentle creatures and it certainly put a smile on my face to swim with them.

We collected our kayak and headed across to the other motu that has a small restaurant on it, Coco Beach.  It was our best meal of the entire vacation to date.  I had shrimp in a curry sauce, and Sandi had grilled saumon in a vanilla sauce.  Included with each plate was rice, fried banana, pineapple, papaya and mango on a bed of butter lettuce.  Sandi’s pineapple was grilled.  We pretty much didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day after that!

We spent the rest of the day on the beach of Les Tipaniers after that, each of us having a nap.  It was very hot out, right into the evening.  The best place to try and cool off was the beach where there was a nice wind.


To close the evening we took pictures of the sunset, along with about 20-30 other people, and around 8:30 took an attempt at taking some pictures of the stars.  There has been enough light pollution everywhere we’ve been, be it from the moon or just lights along the beach, that there hasn’t been a good opportunity to see the stars or take photos.  While this was our best opportunity, it wasn’t ideal.  We probably would have been better off walking to a spot where there was little to no light to take pictures.


All things considered however, another good day in French Polynesia.  Tomorrow we have more than half the day on Moorea before taking the ferry back to Tahiti to board our flight home.  We plan to rent a car and drive around the island.

Index of all posts of our French Polynesia trip October 2016


Day 1 – Chance of a Thunder Shower

Our first accommodation is the House of Travel (La Maison du Voyage), a guest house owned by a local family.  Our hosts are Edouard, Isabella, and their daughter (approx. 15 yo) Chloe.  They have just the one rental unit on their property.  We share a small pool and there is some outside loungers and table and chairs.  We thought that Edouard spoke better English, but I guess he just uses Google translate in his email!  He speaks French and Spanish.  Isabella can speak a bit of English and we are getting mostly by speaking to her and trying some French with Edouard.  Also, a lot of hand waving and gestures which I’m not even sure helps a lot.

Edouard picked us up at the airport and took us into town for some grocery shopping and to show us some landmarks.  After a couple of stops we arrived at his home, pretty much exhausted.  He showed us around, and after he left us we more or less layed down and had a power snooze – 45 minutes.  After a quick lunch of bread and cheese we trotted down to the water with a couple of kayaks and went for a paddle.

We were over coral a lot of the time – so pretty.  We had a choice to make. Graham wanted to go to a location that Edouard told us had great snorkelling, but I saw a motu island off in the distance that was calling to me. So off we went to the motu.  It was probably 4 km away, but we couldn’t judge that at the time. The scenery was so nice that it really didn’t matter, until we had to paddle back that is.

The motu was straight out of Gilligan’s Island.  A couple of families were there having a picnic.  After some photos and a well-deserved rest, we started on our way back.

A quick aside: as we were getting close to our trip, we were watching the weather forecast for French Polynesia, and pretty much every day it said there was a chance of a thunder storm.  When we arrived, the weather was so beautiful we both scoffed at the idea of one hitting us.  Well, one hit us alright.

We were maybe not quite half way back when we got absolutely soaked.  The wind wasn’t that friendly either.  Despite all that though, we felt fantastic for having taken on our first adventure, and with it, checking off one item on our list of things to do!


Index of all posts of our French Polynesia trip October 2016