Day 4. We decided to go on a "cat-cat", or a 4x4 safari tour. Basically, it's a flat bed 4x4 truck that has a semi-covered roll cage and 2 benches bolted to it. No worry though, get seat belts. They came in handy as we sped along at 70 KPH, or ~40MPH, on the local roads.
First stop, the Papetoai Temple. This octagonally-shaped church was originally built by missionaries some time around 1825. It's the oldest European building in the South Pacific.
The `uru, or breadfruit tree is a staple in French Polynesia. We have these trees in Hawai'i (called `ulu), but it's tourist code to take pictures of everything... so here it is!
Of course, what's a day without the random dog? This is little guy was just cruising with some of his puppy buddies.
After the Papetoai Temple, we headed straight up the mountain to a lookout spot. Hands down the crip-est view I've ever seen. The ocean is about a mile away, but you're 1,000 feet up, looking down on the coast. You can see the Papetoai Temple (red cone-shaped roof in the center-rightish). The view of the water was crazy! You can see the reefs and lagoons and all of the changes in the water color as the reef drops off into the lagoon.
Moorea was so lush and green. I imagine this is what Hawai'i used to look like a long time ago, before industrialization. The air is clean and refreshing to breathe. A huge difference than what we have here in Southern California. Haha!
Next stop, the Belvedere. This is the one stop that all cat-cat tours hit up. It's a mountain lookout where you can see Opunohu Bay and Cook's Bay, separated by Mount Rotui. My photoshop skills are shitty, so I don't have a panoramic picture of this yet... but here's what it's supposed to look like:
We also stopped by a marae. These are like Hawaiian heiau's, but the French Polynesian version. They are stone constructions that were used for prayer or sacrifice. I believe this one may have been used for sacrifice at one point in time.
There was this huge random pineapple farm in the middle of the bushes just down the road from the Belvedere. I can't even imagine working in all the protective clothing when it's 85 degrees and small kine humid outside. I give the workers some props... they're some rugged buggahs.
At the end of the tour, we headed to Jus de Fruits de Moorea, or the Fruit Juice Factory. They had lots of Rotui juice, but the main purpose for this stop was free alcohol. Yes, I said it. You could take shots of all kinds of different hard liquors they made, including Coconut Creme liquor. Since I don't drink, I got to watch all of the Europeans go crazy... 5-6 shots in 10 minutes. Naaahhts!
By the time we got back to our place, I could see the waves firing from our bedroom window. I didn't have binoculars, but I didn't see anyone out there the whole time. Supposedly this left is really good, but kinda sketchy since the take off was so close to dry reef. I took these pictures from about a mile away, so I'd imagine these waves were pretty big... but damn it looks perfect!
After our half-day adventure, we decided to cruise around and find some food. Of course, we went roulette hunting and came across this little sandwich shop. I don't think it even had a name, but it was dabomb.com! These huge baguette sandwiches were like $5 each, which isn't bad for French Polynesia.
I don't really remember what we did after lunch, probably a lot of cruising around and shopping. Whatever we did, I know I was starving by the time 5pm rolled around. Cass found this pizza place in our tourist handbook called Pizza Daniel. We can attest, if there's one place to try pizza on Moorea, it's Pizza Daniel. I can't remember his exact location, but it's north, up the coast from Haapiti. This is Daniel, making us a ridiculously tasty pizza. That's also his oven in the background. Homemade pizza from scratch to my stomach in less than 15 minutes. Cheee huu!!
The end of Day 4 with a sunset over Haapiti.