We had another 2 fun filled days at the Moorea Intercontinental hotel and Spa. We greeted the resident dolphins and learned a lot about them at the same time. A dolphins skeleton is very similar to a humans, especially in the fin. Inside the fin their skeleton very much resembles a human arm and hand…including fingers! The gentleman from the dolphin centre explained to us that the dolphins don’t express if they are happy or sad, they always look happy but that is just the way they look. They have no idea if the dolphins, whose skin is as receptive to touch as ours, enjoy being stroked or if they just put up with it as they get fed. He explained how Kuokoa, the dolphin we met was actually bred in captivity in Hawaii at the Hilton Waikaloa where we had met the dolphins all that time ago. We saw the 3 resident dolphins, 2 males bred in Hawaii and one a retired U.S. Army dolphin who is the dominant female. Each of the dolphins have their own personality described here on the Moorea Dolphin Centre‘s site. Even after greeting the dolphins I am still torn between whether I agree with the whole captivity thing. I think it is essential to learn about these animals and for children to be able to see them and try to understand them but it does make me sad to think of them anywhere smaller than the whole ocean. I do to some extent think that animals bred in captivity don’t know any better and that makes it a little easier to swallow but…anyway, the jury is still out on that for me! Next stop was the Helena Spa. We were treated to a ice bath (Alex does not agree that this was a treat), a back massage with freshly grated coconut and then a waterfall experience! The water falls onto you as you lay on your front and feels just like heavy rain! It was lovely once I had moved up the bed a little so that my head wasn’t directly under the falling water and I wasn’t unattractively drowning while being filmed by Jeff and photographed by Catherine! Next we had a long soak in a bath filled with cool water and lots and lots of fresh flowers. Tahitian Tiare’s, hibiscus and lots of brightly coloured petals floated around us as we soaked up the scent and the oils while eating the sweetest pineapple ever! We were pretty wiped out after all of our pampering and sat around our plunge pool (YES< our room had a plunge pool!) and relaxed chatting with Jeff and Catherine for an hour when it was time to eat..and eat we did! Again we were in bed by 9.30 as much as we didn’t want the day to end! It was Jeffs last night and the next morning he was due back on the ferry to Tahiti and then back onto a flight back home with Air Tahiti Nui! We were so sad to see one of the team go…once he left we felt like we had lost a wheel. We moped around a little, tried to do some work a little and generally felt our loss. It was such a shame to see him go especially as that night we were due back at the Tiki Village to enjoy a show!
We were collected later that evening and wandered around the beautiful village which has been built to show the way the Tahitians lived before modern times. They have kept a lot of the traditions alive such as jewellery making, weaving the rushes to make a strong building material and also making instruments, though now they use some synthetic materials rather than animal skins. Lucinda greeted us again and showed us around telling us tales of the past and of the first explorers to arrive on the islands and how they found beautiful topless women and never wanted to leave! We ate traditional food cooked under ground in the traditional manner and drank the free wine happily! We watched Lucinda and Tihoni show us a thousand ways to wrap and wear a sarong while we enjoyed our food…and then finally it was time for the show to begin. We all sat around in anticipation and watched in awe as the girls all came out wearing their grass skirts and coconut shells and they began to dance! They were all incredible and their moves mesmerising. Then came the guys with their enormous thighs dancing and throwing fire as they told the tale of the French Polynesia n Islands! We had such an amazing time and after the evening starting off as a little bit of our worst nightmare, the tourists being trailed around the purpose built village…it turned out to be an amazing night and I loved every minute of the dancing and thought it was such a fantastic show! We were worn out and way ready for bed as we were taken back to the hotel. We collapsed in bed and fell asleep with fire throwing in our minds and looked forward to the next day when we had a small hop skip and a jump to our next Island destination…Bora Bora! We were all excited to be flying during the day after arriving in the dark. We couldn’t wait to see the colours of the water from the sky and to see the islands spread out below us. We managed with some manoeuvring of the weight of our luggage (for some unknown reason the internal airlines will only allow a lesser weight than the main airline to the islands) to get on the tiny plane and make our way over to ACTUAL paradise…Bora Bora. To get an idea of the beauty of this place pick up a brochure or just close your eyes and think of the most heavenly place you can imagine and you might JUST about have it! We landed and thought we had died and gone to heaven. We jumped on a boat to take us to our hotel…our hotel on stilts…on the water! We pulled up to a long pier and were greeted with shell necklaces and whizzed along in a golf cart for our luggage. We sat in the shade with a cocktail while we checked in and then we were shown to our rooms. We drove through paradise to get there, each bungalow balanced on stilts floating directly above the clearest water you have ever seen. We skipped around and shrieked with joy when we walked in and took in the room. A glass table showed the clear water below us, huge windows drank in the incredible watery view and the bed just begged you to climb in! The bath was below another huge window so you could watch the sun set or rise from the tub. It was just beautiful! We truly were in paradise.