Parrot Head Honeymoon in Paradise
Editor’s Note: This is a follow up to last month’s story Parrot Head Wedding in Paradise. I had to know about the honeymoon! Thanks Chris & Amy for sharing your adventures with us!
When Amy and I told our friends we were getting married in Belize, everyone thought Belize was also our honeymoon location. But, because we go to Belize often, we wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been before. Plus, after eight years of dating, we were certainly doing something better than a weekend getaway to a Motel 6.
We thought of a lot of places but settled on Tahiti. That’s a long way to go and there are lots of islands to choose from. Some research was in order. Originally, we wanted to bareboat charter a sailboat for a few days and spend several days on an island, maybe two. In the end, we decided we’d rather see more islands from the land and decided to pick three to visit. We picked Moorea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora. We also thought we’d re-acclimate to the States on our return by staying a couple of days in L.A.
On our first island, Moorea, we stayed at the Intercontinental Le Moana Resort and Spa. Here, we stayed in a Garden Pool Bungalow for three nights. We weren’t on the beach or over the water but we had our own private pool. It was a very nice room and the resort was awesome. This resort had a turtle sanctuary and a dolphin center. We saw a traditional Polynesian dance and crafts show including the fire dancers (I even got on stage). We also spent a lot of time on the beach and pool and got to know some of the staff.
Our favorite day on Moorea was spent in a rental car. We explored the entire island, stopping in lots of shops and eating in some great restaurants. One place we stopped was Bali Hai on Cook’s Bay where the old movie South Pacific was filmed. We also took the car up to Mount Belvedere which overlooked both Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay – a really scenic spot.
From Moorea, we took a flight to Raiatea and transferred by boat to Le Tahaa Resort and Spa. This was on a private island just off of Tahaa. Here we were upgraded to a Overwater Sunset Suite. Unfortunately, we arrived there after dark and missed the sunset. We only stayed here two nights so you bet we spent the next evening on our private deck, sipping champagne, and watching the sunset.
This was an awesome bungalow that even had a hinged glass table at the foot of the bed that opened to the water below the room. We brought bread back from dinner to feed the fish.
For our one full day here, we went over the the main island and rented a scooter. Again, we explored the whole island on our own.
We found a black pearl farm and it happened to be a harvest day. So, we got to see the whole process – everything from scraping barnacles off the shells, to removing the pearl, to implanting a new ‘seed.’ We even got to eat an oyster – nothing like the oysters on the half shell that we’re used to.
From there, we found a vanilla plantation. Again we got to see everything from how they pollinate each flower by hand, to the drying, to the sorting, to the retail.
We found a nice little place for lunch on a lagoon then headed back to catch our sunset.
Our last island was Bora Bora. Here we stayed at the Intercontinental Thalasso Resort and Spa which is on a motu (outer island). We had an awesome over-water suite with a postcard view of the mountain on Bora Bora. This bungalow could have passed for a small one bedroom house. We stayed here for four nights so we had three full days. And, of course, we went exploring on the main island on our own.
The first day, we got dropped off and just started walking. We were hoping to find a rental car or scooter place. But, instead, we found Bloody Mary’s Bar and Restaurant. This is a place Amy had researched and we knew we’d eat dinner there one night. We found it – but we got there just before they opened for the day. We had walked quite a way and we were ready for an island drink so we waited for them to open. While we were sipping our [you guessed it] bloody marys, we met Rick, the sorta owner/operator/manager of the place. He was a really cool guy who wound up giving us a ride into the little town of Vaitape and showing us around a little.
We did some shopping and eating (and drinking) started walking back towards Bloody Mary’s. Turned out to be a 3 or 4 mile walk and we were ready for dinner when we got there. Bloody Mary’s is a neat place with a sand floor and a great menu. The menu itself is unique in that you aren’t handed an actual menu. When you walk in, all the fresh caught menu items are displayed on ice. You stop at the display and pick what you want before you ever go to your table.
The next day, we again got dropped off and went walking. We went the other direction and were in search of a 4X4 tour. We found one and it turned out to be more than just a drive up the mountain. We went all around the island and to several great lookout spots including one that had WWII canons left by the U.S. Navy.
The guide also showed us other interesting spots including where they once did human sacrifices. He also showed us how to get into a coconut, took us to some shops and last, stopped at Bloody Mary’s – of course. Our last day at Bora Bora was spent just relaxing around the pool and beach.
Heading Back to the States
We had had a great trip but now it was time to go home. But, that was not to be. We left the resort, headed to the airport at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. We didn’t get back to Austin until about 2 a.m. on Saturday. The short story is there was an airline strike (we were the first flight canceled) and we wound up getting re-routed through New Zealand (5.5 hours in the wrong direction). Luckily, we planned the couple of days in L.A. and only missed that instead of having to miss work. Though not a lot of fun at the time, the ‘travel trauma’ added to the adventure, we got to say we went to New Zealand, and now that was just part of our amazing trip.
Our favorite island was Moorea. It was a little less pretentious with much friendlier staff. Maybe because we weren’t off on a motu, we felt a little freer to go off on our own. The other places felt a little more like it was all about the money. Not that anywhere was bad. It was expensive and we knew it. We had an awesome time. If we ever go back, we’ll pick other islands but we’ll return to Moorea, for sure.
Chris & Amy Durden
Have you ever been to the South Pacific? Did you honeymoon somewhere tropical? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Saturday 6th of October 2012
Absolutely breath taking pictures, would love to go there!! Congratulations again my good sweet friends.