It is day two here at the CRIOBE Station on Moorea and it’s been a long, but great, day. Group breakfast was early and then we were headed for a hike up to check out one of the waterfalls near-by. Before embarking on our quest up the mountain the group stopped in town at a place called “Tiki Village,” where we got a tour of some traditional Polynesian culture and a glimpse of where most of us will be Saturday night; the traditional Tahitian Fire Dance. After getting some culture, we started our hike up to the waterfall. The ocean scenery and enormous mountains all around us seemed almost too surreal and unbelievably beautiful. The hike itself was a bit steep and slippery but was well worth the trip. The waterfall, since it’s currently the dry season, wasn’t pouring water, but it was still pretty amazing. Some of us cooled off in the water at the bottom of the waterfall, and even though it was stunningly cold at first, it was nice to cool off after a long trek in the jungle. After the hike we stopped at a few scenic spots and got some fantastic pictures and then it was back to the station for lunch, which as we’re beginning to learn, is always delicious. After lunch we were off again and this time since the cruise ship was docked, the locals set up a market to sell pearls and jewelry and t-shirts to tourists like ourselves. After an hour or two of shopping and bargaining we met with our individual research groups (Gecko group and Fish group,) to figure out our next step in our proposals. The fish group went snorkeling at one of the local beaches and my group, the lizard group, set out to hunt to some geckos. We returned after a few hours of collecting and had caught ten geckos total, not bad for a few hours work. The fish group on the other hand…not so lucky. They back from their adventure with a poisonous lion fish and a new respect, I think, for the lizard group, but I’m sure they’ll have more luck tomorrow. Dinner was next on the itinerary and we had some spaghetti and fresh fruit salad waiting for us when we got back, Dinner with everyone ended and then it was more research. If things keep going this great, I’m not sure I’ll make it back to the states!
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