Bora Bora, French Polynesia, January 25, 2010
Jan 25, 2010
|Oh, Paradise where art thou? Ye are found!!! We came, we visited and we left our souls and wishes to return as soon as possible but took with us our mind's eye experiences and the dreams that we lived......Bora Bora, truly is a paradise in the world of paradises. I will post our adventures in the next days, because our ports will be coming up for our experiencing and the days at sea to catch up will be limited.
Early, Early the morning we left Papeete, we thought it might be a bright sunny day for fun and enjoying the wonderful things Paradise has to offer and we were proven correct. The sun came up over the mountain and looked like a bright pearl being spit out of the Island's pursed lips, the brilliance so bright it was hard to focus on anything else (thought we managed to "tear" ourselves away somehow). Captain Dag had come in around the Island for the most panoramic view of most of the Island reef lined "barrier." There is only one entrance to the harbor for large ships and the entry afforded views of resorts and barrier islands that the traditional ferry approach (most direct) did not offer. Another cruise ship, the Holland America, Rotterdam was in port as well, so business was good to the islanders.
We anchored and the tenders were readied. I had a snorkeling tour that took me to a lagoon aquarium: "The Lagoonaquarium" (it was a fantastic boat ride to and from and an amazing experience swimming with sharks, turtles & large fish) and Ellie & Debbie hired a driver to take them around the island & to a resort. Their driver (he called himself: "simply") was in several films that Oscar de Laurentis made: Hurricane in the 50's and some others produced by other directors. He also worked for Mr. de Laurentis when he built the Soffitel resort hotel & was retained after it was sold years later. So, all this "experience" was backed by many a tale and lots of island history.
A comical event happened when their driver was to pick me up at noon, after my tour ended and I was brought back to the docks. "Simply" was told to pick me up & use the sign with our names on it but failed to do so. He just saw a single, older man waiting at the docks where the tours brought back their customers and asked: "Did you go on the Lagoonaquarium tour? Are you with Regent? Is your wife at the resort waiting for you? Would you like to go back with me?" Well, this man had been on Regent in the past and his wife was at some place else on the island but he did not know where she was or how to get her and proceeded to go with the driver to the Soffitel resort. When he presented the man to Debbie, she supposedly had such a look on her face that the driver asked: "Is this the man? No? Are you sure?" Both Debbie & Ellie almost fell over with laughter (and disappointment) because of the mistake. I guess I could have been waiting forever at the docks if the man the driver he brought back was an Englebert Humperdink or Antonio Banderes look alike (or anyone most dashing, with panache)! Bora Bora could have been a new home or new address for me.......hmmmm, was this planned as a "dry run?"
After their driver brought the wrong man back to the docks (he got to visit the resort for a while until the instructions were straightened out, so he didn't mind too much & HIS wife didn't miss HIM!!!)and picked up the correct man using the sign & asking: are you Mr. Shroyer, is your wife & daughter waiting for you? I returned to the Soffitel resort for a brief photo shoot (10 min) while Ellie & Debbie changed for a short stop at Bloody Mary's & the ride back to the ship.
We had a couple of bloody marys at Bloody Mary's, took some photos and started back to the ship, when Ellie suggested to Simply, our Driver to take us to the part of the island where there were still artillery canon still in place from WW2 and to show some extravagant burial traditions & sites. Simply knew where these were because of his 70+ years of living on the island and knew (or was related to most everyone)the history of EVERYTHING about Bora Bora. Of course, on the way there are many shops and stalls open to tourist wanting to take back a souvenir of something from Bora Bora & we were diverted for a few minutes while Debbie got a Paero she spied from the SUV we were riding in.
We made it back to the docks & were the VERY LAST people to go back to the ship with the dock equipment and personnel--cut it close enough to almost call it home for all 3 of us!
Thank you for your continued interest. Hope only photos will do for now--there are some great tales that go behind each set of photos. Enjoy!
"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"