Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Walk in a Park

Moorea is shaped like a Love Heart, except that instead of one deep indentation along the top there are two - the Baie de Cook, and Baie Opunohu. In between them there is Mt Rotui, a massive chunk of volcanic rock with almost vertical sides that rises to 2600 feet. Behind Mt Rotui the main mountainous ridge of the island curves from one side of the love heart to the other and is equally precipitous but even higher, and worn into serrated ridges and the jutting spires and peaks, probably photographed a billion times by now - but for good reason! It is utterly spectacular.
I went ashore quite early and took a scrubbing brush. I had been surprised at how much slime and growth there was underneath the dinghy after two weeks in the water in Papeete, so had tied it to the foredeck rather than deflate and put it away for the trip over, and this morning on the white sand beach, scrubbed it all clean. I then set off to the right, along the road that follows the perimeter of the entire island, following it round into the Bay and then at its head continuing left to cross behind Mt Rotui and cross directly to the head of Baie de Cook, ultimately continuing round to where I started from, Essentially I circumnavigated the base of Mt Rotui and it took about 5 hours with a stop for lunch in the baie de Cook.. It was a great walk - initially in the cool shadow of the mountain, past local homes along the waterfront then inland through some forest then past pineapple plantations and other gardens, a shrimp farm, a goat farm, past the Resort on the reef I mentioned yesterday - it's the Moorea Hilton Lagoon Resort and Spa - and back to the dinghy for rest in the shade. At the waterside snack bar in Baie de Cook I met a Kiwi sailor from Wellington - and we had a good chat about getting here and where to next and so on - he plans t continue east and eventually make it to Chile! His crew have gone back home for the time being but his wife is expected to join him next week.

The thing that seems so amazing about this place, is that for the people who live here this is their home! They are so lucky, I almost wish I was French - its hard to imagine a place anywhere else on the planet more like a Garden of Eden. But, in spite of all that I am leaving tomorrow for Huahine - about 100 miles so I shall leave mid morning and arrive about the same time the next day. Surely it cant be as magnificent as this place?

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