Bora Bora

Bora Bora:
Bora Bora is one of the more famous islands of Polynesia, one of the few that is frequented by Americans and others with money to spend. We were told we couldn’t miss it, and so we took another overnight ferry to that island. Although it was less than 50 mi. from Huahine, it took a full 8 hours because it dropped cargo off at two other islands first, and then had to travel around Bora until it reached the one and only opening in the coral reef.

But the long night was well worth it. As we approached the island in the late morning, my heart actually jumped into my throat as I saw palm-fringed sandy white islets surrounded by a thousand shades of the most gorgeous blue I’d ever seen. Dolphins jumped in front of our boat and then continued their dancing in the distance with acrobatic pirouettes whose energy put New Zealand’s dusky dolphins to shame. It was a most enchanting sight. As we closed the gap to Bora, I felt this must be nature’s paradise on earth.

I was even more excited because this was like our second honeymoon. Bora was a haven for the rich and famous, and bungalows ran from $250 to $1500 per night, the suites going for as much as $15,000 per night. But we found a guesthouse for pennies in comparison, and although it didn’t have all the amenities, it was situated on the tip of Matira Point, which had the attraction of being the only place on the island to have an excellent view of both the sunrise and the sunset. A white sandy beach led from our doorstep to the turquoise sea and a lounge on the patio played lilting island music.

My favorite part of the day was breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea in front of our little house. There were other guests, but we never saw them. I think this was because they ate their meals out, while we cooked our meals in the kitchen, allowing us to eat on our own private terrace on the beach. As we ate our warm baguettes with strawberry jam and chocolate, we looked out over the oh-so-blue water and watched as the occasional sailboat, kayak, jet-ski tour, or pirogue with a tattooed, sexy Tahitian man pass by.

We skipped the tours for the very rich and opted to tour Bora by bike instead. The island is only 20 mi. around, and the view is beautiful from every angle. Bora Bora is not an island of beaches; in fact, there are precious few. It is an island of blue lagoons and I could never get over how blue the water was. We admired the lush vegetation, the small fishing villages at the north end of the island, and the rows of pretty bungalows that I thought looked romantic and that Stephane did not, and the breathtaking view of the lagoon and a distant islet from a climb to Lookout Point. We usually ended the day at the island’s white sand beach near our guesthouse, where we watched the reddening sun dip into the warm blue sea. I preferred watching the sunset from the water, but Stephane stayed on dry land. He had gotten so spoiled by the warm water that in the course of only 3 weeks, what was once too-warm water was now too cold!!!

Another favorite part of my day was dinner, because, as at breakfast, we had the terrace all to ourselves from which to admire the night sky and spend unhurried time together to read, converse, or simply hold hands. With the flickering stars, warm air, candles, and flowers, it was a real honeymoon week!