Still no Internet at home here in Aarhus, Denmark, so it’s time for a Sunday evening trip to the lab to catch some wireless signal and update the blog!
So back to Bora Bora... (we wish!)
After the cyclone we had two weeks left on Bora Bora, so for us it was time to enjoy the lagoon again, as well as get educated on the history and the culture of Polynesia through exploring its archeological sites in the mountain. Q went out pretty much every day to explore the lagoon using one of the free kayaks that the hotel had to offer. That gave him the opportunity to snorkel away from crowds and discover where sharks like to go-and hence, where he also liked to go... You’ll have to know that those are cute sharks with black tips on their fins, which don’t grow any longer than 4 feet and which are fed by tourists every day during “shark-feeding tours”. So it seemed safe. But hey, there’re still sharks, so when you see them coming, it’s quite an experience! But that’s what Q wanted and he got it... He even went back for more!
We both went on an adventurous day trip on a Polynesian kayak (a slim one with an outrigger) that ended up being quite a journey since we realized on our way to our first stop (a remote beach on one of the motus) that probably the outrigger was messed up. The boat was running in circles and only when C started guiding while Q was rowing were we able to get anywhere, except that it was not fast. Eventually we got there, and saw so many corals like we had never seen. Just the variety of shapes and colors was outstanding. Please be patient as we get the film of our under-water camera developed... We know it’s hard! Let’s just hope that it’s not messed up. We can’t really be sure with these old-fashioned camera rolls!
The only tours we ended up doing while on Bora Bora were an unofficial combo between a discovery of the mountain side and an exploration of the lagoon with a tour of the island by boat. These two tours were respectively led by Azedine and Damien, who are passionate French guys that are determined to offer more educational tours. Azedine is actually the only guy who can take you to hike on the island and can explain its history, thanks to archeological discoveries he made in the recent years. He took us to the site of the first temple established in Polynesia, about 200 BC, by people who were coming from Malaysia. He explained the artifacts he found there, including the statue of that guardian who sits in a variant of the lotus posture. Azedine also stops at a true Polynesian farm, and at the workshop of an artist that paints on pareos (a traditional colorful cloth that women wrap themselves in to cover up their bikini).
His buddy Damien is not just another taxi boat with snorkeling stops. He actually jumps in the water with you to name the fish you see and tells about the formation of Bora Bora and the role of the corals for the ecosystem. Damien likes to see Bora Bora as the perfect balance, as the slow dropping of the volcanic island under the sea level is compensated by the rise of the corals.
For the last five days of our stay on Bora Bora we enjoyed an over-water bungalow experience, as we stayed on these tiki houses right above the corals! Gigantic bedroom with king size bed and glass floor under the coffee table to see the fish from inside the bungalow, private platform to hop into the sea at any time, and well... the pictures speak for themselves!