The original name of BoraBora is closer to “Pora Pora”, meaning “first born”. There is no “B” sound in the Polynesian language.
We woke up this morning with a new view; our ship was settling into a harbor area of Bora Bora. The island itself consists of two extinct volcanoes and it is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef.
Jerry and Michelle met us in the ship auditorium at 9 a.m. where we were each provided a pass to take the tender boat to the dock in Vaitape. Once there, we picked up our rental car and hit the main road that circles the entire island. It had been recommended that we go “counterclockwise” so that’s what we did.
Just outside of town, we spied a pearl store and stopped in to look for a few bargains. The shop was quite nice...and the prices were quite high. After a short look about, we got back on the road. However, within two minutes we found ourselves driving up to Bloody Mary’s Restaurant. Hmmm, that’s where we planned to have lunch...but lunchtime was a couple of hours in the future. It was decided to complete the
driving tour and then start the loop a second time so we could get to our lunch spot later in the day.
The next stop on our list was Matira Beach, the only public beach on the island. Oops, we drove past the entrance to the beach somehow; so we decide we would stop in later after we had started the loop a second time and after we had our lunch. Another 8 kilometers down the road, we hoped to see some mareas (ancient stone platforms) as well as some of the cannons placed on the island during World War II. Unfortunately, the walking trail that would take us there was evidently too obscure for us to find either the maraes or the guns. So we continued our drive and soaked in the sights...the mountain on the left, the turquoise water of the lagoon on our right, and all of the local folks who were out and about to campaign for the favorite candidates in the coming election. (We don’t know who the candidates are—but we do know that one of them likes the color yellow and the other one likes blue. And we noted that Mr. Yellow seems to be much more popular with the citizens of Bora Bora.)
Within an hour of the start, we were back in Vaitape. Now that it was closer to lunch time, we just kept driving and soon enough we were right in front of Bloody Mary’s again. NOW it was lunch time. In we went. Bloody Mary’s has been a hot spot for nearly 35 years. It is cute, but with plenty of room inside to handle plenty of tourists. Two qualities caught our attention immediately: the sand floor and the free roam chickens wandering around on it. That didn’t stop us from ordering a Hinano beer and some Polynesian pub grub.
With full tummies and happy dispositions, we decided to just keep going around the whole island a second time! That turned out to be a good call, because this time we did stop at Matira beach (warm water and lots of coral in the white sand) and a marae (Which one? We aren’t sure…). Finally back in Vaitape once again, we turned in the rental car, did a little more shopping, and boarded the tender back to the ship.
For dinner, Susie had arranged for the two of us to have a little “second honeymoon” time at a place called the MaiKai Restaurant. So while we headed back to town after a bit of a nap, Jerry and Michelle stayed on the ship for dinner. (We will meet up with them early tomorrow for a snorkeling tour.) The MaiKai was a good choice; the food was interesting and the wine (a Tahitian white) was very nice.
Once we had our fill (and we were full!), the restaurant owner gave us a ride back to the dock and we returned to the ship. We arrived just in time to catch the beginning of a Bora Bora cultural dance show before bed time. Once the dancers left the stage to find some willing dancers in the audience, it was time for us to turn in (quick...before they catch one of us!).
Tomorrow...the Lagoonarium where we can snorkel and see the bottom-side of Bora Bora.