Bora Bora. The name evokes an image of blue waters, white sand beaches and huts on stilts with great views. The island has that and so much more.
The island is the most populated one we have been on yet besides Tahiti with around 9000 residents. Early in the morning we hopped onto the tender to go to the town of Vaitape which is a street of shops selling pearls and fine art as well as the pareos that many of the islanders make. At almost every island stop, there are the “mama’s” that set up tables to sell crafts and jewelry and Vaitape was no exception. At the pier there was a group of people that seemed to be part of a wedding party loading onto a boat. They were so beautiful!
We walked around the town checking out the shops but did not buy anything. We did find out that there was a shop that rented small motor boats and they would pick us up at the pier. After a quick phone call, they came right out to get us and soon we hopped into a cute little metal boat to tour around the lagoon.
Our first stop was to visit a coral garden to do some snorkeling. We found the spot easily enough because there were several tour boats already anchored around the reef. We did enjoy Snorkeling and we saw fish we had not seen before. Saw a red and white fish for the first time that was very interesting. It was interesting enough that I looked it up and yes, it is called a squirrelfish. Unbelievable.
We drove around the island that is in the center of the lagoon. There are two peaks at the center, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, an extinct volcano. They create a jagged landscape that is visible from all around the lagoon, creating a beautiful view for the huts that line the waters. We were not able to go around the whole lagoon, as it is a lot bigger than you think. We turn around and head back enjoying the views of the huts, looking forward to a stop to taste the islands most famous drink.
Bloody Mary’s, the must see stop on Bora Bora. The feeling of fame lingers at the entrance as you read the signs featuring all the names of the rich and famous who have visited here. The bloody’s are fresh, the food is light and the atmosphere is pure island. Searching through the names is always fun. See anyone you know?
After lunch, we headed back to the Windspirit where we changed and jumped back on the tender to head to our next Motu Party. This island is the Motu Tapu where we had a huge BBQ dinner with local Polynesian dancing and fire dancers. The women were beautiful and the fire dancers were ferocious. It is amazing they do not burn themselves!
The evening on the island was very nice but the ride back to the Windspirit was pure magic. The band and the dancers were on our tender and they played and sang for us all the way back to the boat. The captain drove at a leisurely pace and we watched as the full moon danced upon the waters to the music. The sound drifted towards the Windspirit, heard by all on the deck that we were coming. Very magical.