On Moorea, we took the public bus to our hotel. The bus ride was a delightfully unexpected tour of most of the island, since it went the long way (clockwise), reminiscent of Rarotonga. The island is indeed beautiful, and is much less hectic than Papeete, and the people seem nicer too. We stayed at Les Tipaniers Hotel on the western side, in a private bungalow right on the beach - with the lagoon in front of us, the waves breaking on the reef further out, and the wonderful sound of the surf all the time, along with the wind in the palm trees rustling. It was hot (high 80's) but breezy, and quite the paradise again. It is not a large resort, and fairly quiet, with excellent meals available, and water activities as well - really comfortable and laid-back - just the relaxation we needed after the bustle of New Zealand, and Papeete. We had nice dinners in their restaurant and and a great conversation after a dinner with a honeymooning couple, Julie and Kevin, from Philadelphia.
On Thursday, we went on Dr. Poole's dolphin viewing boat ride. Dr. Michael Poole is a dolphin and whale researcher, who lives on Moorea now and gives these tours twice a week to fund his research. He was great! We saw over 30 spinner dolphins which occasionally jump out of the water and spin around. On our excursion, they were only swimming and breaking the surface with only one jumper. See the video with this entry to see them in action and to meet Michael Poole.
We checked out on Friday and took the ferry back to Papeete to stay overnight before embarking on our cruise to the Marquesas.