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Published: November 13th 2018
Dateline: Bora Bora, November 9, 2018
Immigration, Bora Bora and making Pareos
Since this is the first port in French Polynesia, we had to go through customs here in Bora Bora, even though we are not getting off the ship until tomorrow in Papeete, Tahiti.
So, today started with a visit with Immigration and Customs for French Polynesia at 7:15 on Deck 7. The ship took our passports 4 days ago and we finally get them back. Another stamp…Bora Bora.
Our island tour was leaving immediately, so we rushed from immigration to the Wheelhouse Bar to collect the “stickers” for our tour. Of course, once we got there it was the “hurry up and wait routine”. After about 20 minutes the captain came on and said that he was sorry for keeping us but…we have a very ill passenger on board and they have been trying to figure out the best way to get him to Papeete. He couldn’t let us get off as we might have to skip Bora Bora and go straight to Tahiti. However, he said that they were sure they had figured out a way to get him airlifted to Papeete 190 miles
away and so he would be giving the order for the tenders to start taking us to shore.
Bora Bora is really beautiful with all the coral reefs surrounding the island on all sides. There is only one harbor entrance and one main island with “motus” all around. These motus are like a skinny ring of land around the island and within the coral reef. Most of the high-end hotels are on the motus, as well as the airport. Everyone has to take a boat from the outer ring to the main island.
The mountains on Bora Bora are lush and green and we so enjoyed the beauty of the island as we headed to shore and got on yet another small bus with about 20 people from the ship. At least this bus had cushioned seats! Our tour took us around the island and there were such contrasts. We could see large, upscale hotels with bungalows over water on motus. We went by Jack Nicholson’s over water bungalow as well as one owned by Maron Brando’s family here on the island and not out on the motus. We heard that Nicole Kidman was here not long ago
and rented a $10,000 a night bungalow for 2 weeks…hummm must be nice…certainly not in our budget 😉. Not surprisingly, we also saw hotels abandoned and left after damage from the last typhoon in 2016. Our tour guide said some were not going to be rebuilt.
As on the other islands, people bury their family in their yards. There are island dogs everywhere, and beautiful flowers, breadfruit, bananas, papayas, mangos etc. As islands go Bora Bora is pretty, lush, with VERY friendly people. Supplies come in by ship from Tahiti. We also noticed that all the fishing boats are suspended over the water. Normally we see them on the beaches, Cope asked why this was and was told that if the boats were left in the water, the sea worms would get into them and rot the wood. So all boats are put up this way whether they are aluminum or wood.
Two more stops on our tour. First one to see a demonstration of how material is dyed for pareos and other garments. A length of fabric is wadded up and dipped in 2-4 liquid pans of color. Then the fabric is spread on corrugated metal (like
you would see on roofs) with clothespins to hold it stretched, to dry. Next patterns cut out of linoleum of fish, words, ferns, turtle and the like, are placed on the fabric for about 2 minutes. The sun makes the patterns stand out on the fabric. Jean bought a coverup with Bora Bora on it, they were so beautiful.
Back on board we spend a wonderful evening in the Princess Theatre with Steve Moris, a former Beach Boys back up singer and comedian. He was really funny and we found our selves laughing out loud. Off to our room to pack. No matter how light we travel around the globe, we still collect “stuff” to take home. So, with our suitcases bulging, we are finally ready to jump ship tomorrow.
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