The first sighting of Bora Bora is always exciting – the beautiful proudly dominant mountain Otemanu looking down on the multi-coloured seas surrounding the island. It has become known as a lover’s island and really nowhere could be more romantic. The smell of frangipani blooms and everywhere flowers; hibiscus bushes towering over small roadside houses sheltered by massive palm trees. Really the whole thing does look like a film set.
The island boasts a whole host of hotels, many with overwater bungalows. From a convenience point of view it may well be better to be on one of the hotels situated on the main island of Bora Bora as transportation around the island is easy. However some of those “once in a lifetime” hotels (Four Seasons, St Regis, Intercontinental) are located on outer motus surrounding the island and therefore transfer from your hotel to the main island would be by way of motor launch shuttle.
Once on the main island one of the easiest ways to get around is to use the shuttle trucks which ferry passengers between the little town of Vaitape and various points around the island. A must visit is Bloody Mary’s. This bar/restaurant was established back in the ‘50s after the film South Pacific became famous. One of the characters in the film is an old tough Tahitian Mama who dishes out advice to the GI’s based on the island in WW2. It has a sandy floor, great serviceand atmosphere – despite the fact that we sat next to someone’s grave just next to us in the garden. It is Polynesian tradition to bury their families in the garden as they don’t really have a municipal cemetery – at least not on Bora Bora. The proprietor did not know who this chap was and said the grave must have been there when the restaurant was built. Anyway we raised our glasses to our unknown neighbour!
From here we travelled on to Matire Beach. Can I keep using the word gorgeous without it getting boring? Stunning beach – there we go! Right next to the Intercontinental Moana which I had inspected. Lovely overwater bungalows at reasonable prices.
Two days in Bora Bora was not nearly enough but we set sail tonight for Taha’a. Here Paul Gauguin has their own private Motu in the lagoon called Motu Mahana where they will serve a buffet lunch. Another wonderful day awaits.