Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hawaii / Tahiti 30 Day Cruise - Day 20 Bora Bora

Thursday Day 20 – Bora Bora

Today is our second day in Bora Bora and we have another tour with Patrick’s arranged through the Cruise Critic Roll Call, this time it is a 4X4 tour of the island.  Our group of eight met at 8:45 and we were able to tender immediately to shore as the tenders were not busy.  We met our guide, and a pretty Polynesian he brought with him, at the dock and were soon on our way.  These 4X4 vehicles are typically trucks with a bench seat on each side in the back facing each other, and a cover of some sort to provide some protection from the sun, but unfortunately, not the humidity.

We were met at the dock by Polynesian music.
Our first stop was one of the World War II cannons that were placed on four corners of the island.  Usually these 4X4 tours are “off road” in name only as they stay on paved roads, but not this one, we climbed up a steep, rough and sometimes muddy road to get up to where the guns were.  The guns were interesting, but the real reward from this drive was the view of the island and surrounding lagoon, it was a great viewpoint.  We made our way back down the hill with our driver / guide providing some thrills (some would say scary moments) with his seemingly too fast driving over the rough terrain.

The road was sometimes very rough and sometimes muddy.

The World War II cannon with the Westerdam in the background.
Our guide and his photogenic assistant.
Once back on the main road we continued our circle of the island.  The next stop was a snack stop where we were once again treated to fresh fruits and juices, but the real reason for the stop was to try to entice us to buy some things from some of the locals.  The prices were actually quite good and Val bought some things to bring home as gifts.  It was also a beautiful spot to take a break as it was right on the water.  We hit the road again and soon we were on an even rougher dirt road where we drove up to one of the highest vantage points on the island with stunning views of almost all of Bora Bora.  After this it was back to the main road and we finished our circle of the island and were back at the dock.  It was a great tour and gave us the perspective of the island from the viewpoint of the land.  We feel we really saw most of Bora Bora as one day we circled the island in the water by boat, and today we circled the island by land in a truck.  Once again Patrick’s tour was very good and I would highly recommend his tours. 

The darker blue water is the deeper water, the turquoise is considerably more shallow.
Why did the pig cross the road?  It wasn't unusual to see barnyard animals, especially chickens, wandering around. 

Nancy (our tour organizer) learns how to tie and wear a Polynesian pareo.

This lady designs the patterns and makes these pareos.
We go off road again.
Our luxurious ride.
Another beautiful view.

Our group.
On our way back to the Westerdam on a more civilized road.
After returning to the tender dock, we looked around the pier at some of the shops, but the heat and humidity got to us and we headed back to the ship, once again the air conditioning felt wonderful.  We spent the rest of the afternoon looking through the many pictures we had taken during our stay on Bora Bora.

Lots of interesting handmade crafts and souveniers for sale.
A lady making necklaces.

There was another sail-away party on the bow of the ship with narration as we sailed through the reef and left Bora Bora behind.  As we were leaving we could see it starting to rain on the island and soon the weather caught up with us chasing us inside, and the sail-away party was cut short today.  We have been very fortunate on this trip as there has been no rain disrupting our days in port, and considering how much rain falls here, that must be very unusual.

Val and Dave on the bow of the ship for the sailaway.
Sailing out of the Bora Bora Lagoon.
We sail off into the sunset and to our next stop.
We finished the evening in our usual fashion of dinner and the casino and then returned to our room to prepare for our arrival in Moorea tomorrow morning.  Bora Bora was a beautiful island and probably my favorite so far although every stop has been wonderful.

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