You just need to know the words “Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah)” (Hello) & “Mauru’ uru (mah-roo-roo)” (Thank you) in Tahitian to receive a hearty welcome from the locals in Bora Bora. I am reminded of their warmth, smiling faces & island’s beautiful lagoon & greenery while writing this post. I was so sad to depart from this wonderful land in the middle of pacific ocean that I almost cried like a child. It was the best place my husband has ever taken me. I was telling him again & again how happy I was that he decided to take me to Bora Bora for our honeymoon.
A land of changing blue colored water, coconut trees, coral reef & various water activities. I was a bit worried regarding the later due to the lack of swimming skills but once you learn how to float in water, you can go for most of the activities. There are shallow & deep water reefs. So, for a non-swimmer, shallow water reefs are a blessing. You can see different corals, fishes & you can even take some bread to feed the fishes. A bunch of them will come running towards you upon releasing a tiny piece of bread. And if you put your fingers near them, you can feel their sharp mouth as they try to eat your finger thinking it’s food. It’s an amazing experience.
You feel the same when you go for scuba diving. There is a beginner course & you also get a certificate from Bora diving center. I had an incredible diving experience, thanks to my instructor. All you need to do is trust your instructor, remember the diving signs & instructions on proper breathing inside water. We dived 6m deep in pacific ocean & believe me, you forget the world outside. The unknown underwater space will make you curious enough to forget that you are breathing with your mouth using a cylinder. Only after coming out of the water you regret for not having gills.
The Eco Tour was fun as we snorkeled with Stingrays & Sharks & picnicked on a small private island which reminded me of the movie cast away. Our guide sang Tahitian songs playing his Ukelele while driving the boat. I felt like we were part of a movie having this water adventure with unknown people & place.
We also got a chance to do Para sailing. Soaring 300m high above the islands we could see the pacific ocean surrounding the lagoon, a tiny over water bungalow that was our hotel room, uphill & ground level houses on the main island & the small boat that we were hanging from. It was like an open airplane with the same bumpy ride 😉 (bumpy while descending). Overall, we had many new experiences with water activities. My favorite one was my husband teaching me how to float & swim in water. I was afraid of even floating or putting my head inside water. But, after this trip, I have fallen in love with it.
We explored a bit of main Bora island, it’s culture & people one evening. We went for a walk observing the houses with jet ski, cars/bikes passing by, busy walking locals & tourists, kids playing, open spaces with kayaks & boats lying around etc. The weather was humid, houses made with cement & coconut tree roofs, clothes drying on a rope, kids playing outside their house, dance gathering & classes in open grounds, roadside food stalls and the always smiling people reminded me of India. We made some good acquaintances with the staff at Sofitel Private Island hotel. The cook Maia-Rai, the helpful receptionist Celest, lunch lady Leah, Yoga teacher Menuella & Mr. Giovanni the beach manager. We got to know a bit about their life and shared some of ours. For example, Maa-Rai, the cook also plays Ukulele in weddings, Menuella loved the place so much that she moved from Italy, Celest has a mother-in-law who is an Aishwarya Rai fan & Giovanni has 6 kids (4 girls & 2 boys). We also got to know some hard truth like Celest has a constant job that lasts for only 4 months & Giovanni has a family in another island called Raiatea & sees them once in two weeks to keep his job. We wondered about other locals in similar situation. Inspite of having temporary jobs & living away from their family, these people did not complain about anything. They were happy & reminded me of how lucky we all are who have had good education, good jobs & stable life. Something to think about.
Mauru’ uru! :-).
The beautiful lagoon of Bora Bora
Shell Horn blown by Sofitel hotel staff to welcome new guests.
Main island roads..
And finally…Me scuba diving 🙂
Fact: Did you know Bora Bora does not have any hospitals? Do not panic…they are located in the neighboring island of Raiatea & they have helicopter services for any emergencies :-).