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Oceania » French Polynesia
January 13th 2016
Published: September 30th 2017
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Geo: -16.4993, -151.74It's the ultimate honeymoon destination, or so that's what travel agents would have you believe about Bora Bora, the final destination of our trip. In an attempt to save the perceived best for last, we placed Bora Bora smack dab at the end, because if the tales are true, the place is so unbelievably beautiful that everything else would surely disappoint in comparison... Read Full Entry



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Making Flower Crowns ...Making Flower Crowns ...
Making Flower Crowns ...

... the Hilton offers a few different complimentary daily activities, this being one of them.
Last Night in Paradise ...Last Night in Paradise ...
Last Night in Paradise ...

... it's too dark to see the tears in our eyes ....
The Clouds Finally Came ...The Clouds Finally Came ...
The Clouds Finally Came ...

... our last day was by far the cloudiest we had in Bora Bora, but no complaints from us - we had three full beautiful days already, so this was perhaps a fitting scene for our last, slightly melancholy few hours in paradise, with a quiet spot of stand up paddle boarding.
Not As Pimped Out ...Not As Pimped Out ...
Not As Pimped Out ...

... our return shuttle to the airport wasn't the same luxury yacht that brought us to the Hilton - a bit comical, having been made to feel like such rock stars upon our arrival, to end up on this little boat! To be honest, we didn't expect the first shuttle to have been so fancy, and had thought that it would've been more along the lines of this.
Welcome Drink For the Buddhas ...Welcome Drink For the Buddhas ...
Welcome Drink For the Buddhas ...

... they really needed some refreshing iced tea - as parched as we were, imagine how the Buddhas felt, having come all this way stuffed inside of my day pack?
Simple Picnic ...Simple Picnic ...
Simple Picnic ...

... having scored with a free overwater bungalow upgrade for our stay in Bora Bora, we took advantage by hiding out in our bungalow for most of the day! This meant also having a picnic lunch cobbled together from those wicked buns and a croissant we had swiped from Fare Vai Nui this morning, and some quail rillette that we had picked up from Clos Henri winery in Marlborough. Pistachios, avocado oil, and a chilled bottle of white rounded out this mish-mash of a meal.
Buddhas Wanting Some Privacy ...Buddhas Wanting Some Privacy ...
Buddhas Wanting Some Privacy ...

... so while we ate dinner, they hollowed out the inside of this warm bun, crawled inside, and started getting it on. If the dinner roll be a rockin', don't come a knockin'! I swear, these two are like rabbits!
King Crab Salad ...King Crab Salad ...
King Crab Salad ...

... with exotic gazpacho and pickled mushrooms. While eating at the Hilton was expensive, at least the food was creative and good.
Raiatea Smoked Swordfish ...Raiatea Smoked Swordfish ...
Raiatea Smoked Swordfish ...

... with dill emulsion and homemade brioche.
Almond-Crusted Seared Tuna ...Almond-Crusted Seared Tuna ...
Almond-Crusted Seared Tuna ...

... with asparagus, artichokes, string beans, glazed with mango juice and passion fruit.
Suckling Pig ...Suckling Pig ...
Suckling Pig ...

... confit in olive oil, with baby vegetables, parsnip puree, and truffle sauce.
Aloe Cafe ...Aloe Cafe ...
Aloe Cafe ...

... though pricey at almost $10, this coconut milkshake was killer! And the buns were quite tasty too, made on the premises, as the Aloe Café is also renowned for its baked goods and pastries. Had we spent more time on the mainland, we definitely would have returned here for a meal.
Hoping For Mahi Mahi ...Hoping For Mahi Mahi ...
Hoping For Mahi Mahi ...

... but the Aloe Cafe was out, so I ended up with a Tuna sandwich. Still pretty fantastic, nicely caramelized and juicy, along with some wicked fries. For a simple little spot, the Aloe Café sure dished up an excellent (and relatively cheap) lunch.
Tuna Sashimi and Tartare ...Tuna Sashimi and Tartare ...
Tuna Sashimi and Tartare ...

... after nearly two weeks in French Polynesia, we still haven't gotten sick of the top-quality sushi-grade tuna on offer here.
Picnic In the Bungalow ...Picnic In the Bungalow ...
Picnic In the Bungalow ...

... not only was it a fun thing to do while we ate in bed, watching LOTR: Return of the King, but we saved money in the process! Our bottle of wine only cost roughly half of what the resort's $37 cocktails would, as well! Fresh baguette drizzled with NZ avocado oil, a handful of pistachios from NZ, trail mix from NZ (damn, we imported a lot of food from there, didn't we?), some Navarran cheese, Serrano ham, and some really greasy and overly-rich French-style duck prosciutto. A little sliced green pepper was obligatory, as it helped cut through the richness of the cheese and cured meats, as did the dried cranberries in the trail mix.
Papaya w/ Fresh Shredded Coconut ...Papaya w/ Fresh Shredded Coconut ...
Papaya w/ Fresh Shredded Coconut ...

... we lucked out today, as this coconut was another freebie - the bartender at the pool had offered us a couple of free coconuts to drink (though we stupidly only took one, thinking that they would be obscenely expensive), and we took it back to the bungalow, scooping out chunks of the young, tender flesh with a spoon. Perfectly paired with the sweet, ripe papaya that we had purchased from a street-side stall in Vaitape earlier in the day.
Fried Croquette ...Fried Croquette ...
Fried Croquette ...

... a little amuse bouche, to start the evening's dinner at the Hilton. I think the restaurant had forgotten to serve us one the other day.
Shrimp Coconut Curry ...Shrimp Coconut Curry ...
Shrimp Coconut Curry ...

... with carrots and pineapple.



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