Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cook's Bay & Belvedere Lookout

We had a rental car for an entire day while we were in Moorea. And since the road around the island is a mere 60 km (36 miles) long, we had plenty of time to see all the sites....and circle the island multiple times! smile

That morning, we packed our beach towels, sunscreen and fresh french baguette and were on our way in our little Peugeot. Isn't it cute?

I seriously felt bigger than the car! Lucky for me it was a stick, so Nate had to drive. The driving in Moorea is just like in the U.S. - drivers and cars on the sides we're used to, so it felt like we were right at home. Well, except for the bright blue water, mountains, gorgeous scenery... Okay, so maybe it wasn't much like home after all. wink

We pulled over at Cook's Bay and snapped some shots of the towering mountains and the anchored boats.

Cook's Bay was virtually surrounded on three sides by jagged peaks, so it was quite peaceful. Driving farther along the bay, we saw Mount Mauaroa, Moorea's famous "shark tooth" mountain. I can understand the comparison...

Leaving Cook's Bay, we began making our way up to Belvedere Lookout. It was just so gorgeous and sunny that morning--a telltale sign that it was going to be HOT--but a perfect day to be out driving around, the breeze whipping through your hair.

According to my travel book, the pasture land in this central valley is where Annette Benning and Warren Beatty strolled in their flop movie, Love Affair. Too bad about the movie, but I can understand why it was shot there. Amazing!

Once we arrived at the top, we saw some interesting sights. Some off-roading, dune buggy type vehicles...

The ever present rooster (they were running around EVERYwhere) and would even wake us up in the mornings...

And, of course, the awesome panorama of the bays on either side of the mountain (the other bay is called Opunohu Bay and is now where all the major cruise ships dock).

It really was a beautiful site. Just look how the colors pop...everything is so green and blue!

And yes, the always necessary self portrait!

While up there, we noticed a couple of different paths leading off into the woods and we decided to take a little hike and see where the path would lead.

It was nice to get out of the sun for a bit and exercise our legs. It was a short little path that lead to an alternate view of the bays.

While walking, we kept coming across this same type of tree with exposed roots. We certainly don't have anything like this where I come from...

Kind of wicked looking.

As we descended the mountain from the lookout, I was certainly thinking it was one of the most beautiful things I had seen yet.


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