More To Do
If the island is a bit too confining for you, there are many nearby places for adventurous hikes and excursions on nearby Taha’a and Raiatea. There are day trips around the island, Scuba diving, jet ski excursions and visits to a pearl farm and world famous Taha’a vanilla plantation. Don’t forget- Bora Bora is close by, and is a short flight or ferry ride away.
A walk around the motu
We are just waking up and decide to take a quick dip in the lagoon. Then a quick hot shower- the warm water from the solar tank is just right after a night of cooling rain. Then a walk down to the “big house”, our kitchen/dining/living room. We had arrived late yesterday, along with friends on their first visit to the motu. They were waiting for us, anxious to get started- “what are we doing today”? “Calm down” we replied, “relax, and enjoy the moment.” Our caretaker had already been across the lagoon, and returned with fresh made bread and croissants. “ A little bread and coffee, and maybe eggs, then we’ll go for a walk around the motu, and see where that leads us.”
We start down the long sand beach that faces the island of Taha’a, about 2 kilometers across the lagoon. The water is shallow here, and as we walk along the shore, small fish scamper away. We occasionally see small black tip sharks here, but not today. There are no waves, just the occasional ripples from the breeze. The sun is rising ahead of us, over the distant motus. On this side of the motu, about 360 yards long, the water is ankle to knee deep in white coral sand. As we approach the point, we see a nearby uninhabited motu, about 150 yards away. In the center, the water is deeper, and is full of large coral heads just below the surface. Continuing along toward the reef, the colors of the water vary with the changing water depth. This is where we often snorkel among the 1000’s of fish, 100’s of species in a seeming endless rainbow of colors. At the far end of this east side, is an opening in the ancient dead reef, where the water rushes over the coral and into the open lagoon. We climb onto the reef, about a meter above the water to take a look. This was once the living reef, at sea level, but now a petrified barrier protecting our motu. It extends a half kilometer to the west, where another opening lets through the current. An excursion for another day.
We climb back between the reef and motu, where a gentle stream flows around to the western side. This is the sunset side with the spectacular views of the peaks of Bora Bora, about 15 miles away. We walk between two rows of coconut palms, toward the guest bungalows. Here the water starts out shallow, then becomes 6-8 feet deep half way to the neighboring uninhabited motu. Continuing on, we pass by the maintenance garage, and then the sports bungalow, where we keep all the toys- for sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, fishing, and other sporting activities. Then back to where we started, out past the owners house and “big house” to the southern tip of our motu. We look out across the lagoon toward Taha’a, and think maybe it’s time for another dip. Any takers?