We have returned, obviously. I took a lot of pictures so I will blog about our adventure in installments.
But first: We are in fine shape, no mishaps or illness, and I only put on two pounds on the cruise, which have already gone bye-bye. I pretty much stuck to my diet, but toward the end I started playing fast and loose with the bread products because they are made with flour from France and thus did not cause me any grief in small quantities. So it is true about American wheat and gluten. I enjoyed the homemade cookies on the ship and I even had a pizza in Peru. But now we are back to our low-carb lifestyle and I’m hoping to lose another ten pounds.
Let’s get to it: Our first stop was Moorea. This photo was taken from our veranda. The landscape was striking, and it’s granite, not volcanic, which surprised me. Notice there is no beach. Sandy beaches are not common.
I forget what island this is, doesn’t matter. What I want to show you is the coral atoll, which completely surrounds the island. You can see a white surf line on the right with darker blue water. The lighter, turquoise water is inside the atoll, and the water is calm and shallow with a sandy bottom. This is not man-made, it occurs naturally, and it’s [part of] the reason there are few beaches. The little island in the foreground and the one way in the back on the right are called Motu. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these little Motus in the region. So it’s entirely possible that there could exist an uncharted island, as in the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.
Here we rented jet-skis and circumnavigated the entire island. I did not take my camera on the wild ride because it is not waterproof. I did not enjoy the jet-ski adventure, but I’m glad I did it so I’ll know to never do it again. We learned how to properly open a coconut, which may come in handy someday. If I’m ever stranded on a deserted island…
I did, however, take my camera on the boat when we went swimming with the rays and sharks in the afternoon after lunch at Bloody Mary’s. Rays are slippery and slimy-feeling. And big! The water is turquoise, so you know we are in shallow water inside the atoll, but you can see the deep water at the horizon, beyond the atoll. Here come the rays. There is chum in the water and it doesn’t take long for them to know it.
After we played with the rays we went outside the atoll to swim with sharks. I did not get in the water here, not because I was afraid of the sharks but because it was nearly impossible to climb back into the boat…forget that! And I was done in by now and happy to stay in the boat and take pictures. These are lemon sharks, and they don’t eat people. My guess is this one is about six feet long.
Of course, being that this was a cruise, we had fine dining in the evenings. We became good friends with Bill & Sarah from Dallas, and wiled away many afternoons playing bridge out on deck. We are on Oceania’s Marina, and this is in the specialty restaurant Polo, which serves steaks and chops. And whole Maine lobster, if that’s your fancy.
Next time I’ll show you Easter Island. But first there is unpacking and laundry to do. Mountains of laundry.