Bora Bora, French Polynesia? It’s exactly what you’d expect: teal blue lagoons, fish of every color imaginable, and, of course, cozy over-water bungalows with glass floors. The trade winds (my favorite part) keep things comfortable all day long. It really is paradise, the perfect place to spend a few days doing absolutely nothing. Though there were plenty of activities to occupy our time: diving, snorkeling, bicycling, hiking and just about every other outdoor activity you can imagine.
Even though everyone speaks French (it’s a part of France after all), we still heard a lot of Tahitian as well. It’s a beautiful and melodic language. Most folks we ran into had a fairly good command of English – thank goodness because my French is more than a bit rusty. I did pick up a few words…
Ia Orana – Hello
Nana – Bye
Mauruuru – Thank you
We happened to go in mid-July, just in time for the end of the Heiva, French Polynesia’s most important festival. Heiva is a spectacle of traditional dance, skill, music and costumes that takes place all over French Polynesia. Arriving during the festival was a total coincidence, but a very happy one. After days on the resort, it was nice to see something authentic (even the locals showed up for this!).
No discussion about French Polynesia would be complete without mentioning the cost – it’s expensive there (understatement). A T-shirt cost between $35 – $40 USD; a cheeseburger at one of the resorts cost roughly the same. It’s not a place for penny-pinchers. We came back a bit poorer than we wanted to, but the place was so beautiful it was totally worth it (though the credit card bill hasn’t arrived). In any case, words don’t do Bora Bora justice…see for yourself via Flickr!