French Polynesia, Part II

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Papeete, Îles du Vent, French Polynesia
Day 34 Papeete, Tahiti. 84, mostly sunny.
We sailed into Papeete at 6:30 am and what a difference from where we have been. There are tall(ish) buildings and traffic at 6:30 am! We had an early tour of the West shore of Tahiti, which took us to a museum, a botanical garden and a sacred temple. It was fine, but the most beautiful thing we saw today was the tour guide, who was quite exquisite. In retrospect, to make the most of Tahiti, we should have picked either a water tour or a tour that took us into the mountains. Next time... After the tour we went to a local brew pub then walked around the shopping district of Papeete, especially enjoying the many pearl shops, fabric shops and the local market. Then back to the ship for FPA time. The ship was docked til 8:30, which allowed them to throw an elaborate "grand barbecue and dance party" on the pool deck. What a blast, with the band playing, singers singing rock and roll and everyone, including dancers, guests, the Captain and the ship's adorable doctor dancing the night away. It was so special even the GM was taking pictures!
Day 35. Bora Bora. 85, partly cloudy.
There is no way to describe this! Bora Bora is beyond anything imaginable in beauty.... the colors of the water, the colors of the lush vegetation, the beaches,'s just indescribable. We did make the most of out time here with a land tour all morning and a water tour all afternoon. Th land tour was in an open bus and we circumnavigated the main island, stopping at 8 locations along the way. In addition to scenic stops, we stopped at a local residence, for refreshments and a tie-dye demonstration. We also stopped at a local bar, "Bloody Mary's" for a drink. Our guide, a resident since 1967, was excellent. He was originally from So. Dakota, so his English was English! Our boat tour guide, was also excellent. He is a born and raised native named Joe Smith, and is only 22 years old, but his English was very good and he just had so much fun doing the tour, plus he knew his stuff. It was a tour of lagoons with a stop for about an hour on a private motu ( islet) for some beach/water time and refreshments, then more lagoon touring and a stop at a sandbar to play with the stingrays and sharks. We didn't get in the water on that stop, but the marine inhabitants clearly knew and loved Joe. The most amazing thing on the tour, aside from being actually in the crystal clear water, was seeing the colors of the water. As BS says, if we had water like this on Hilton Head, none of us could afford to live there! We were pretty tired by the time we got back to the ship, so sat on our respective balconies, having cocktails as we sailed away, while listening to George's iTunes ( thank you Cindy and Roberto for setting us up with a mini wireless speaker). We had BLT's together in the room, along with a few bottles of wine, and retired early. All in all, a perfect day in certainly the most beautiful place on earth we've ever seen.
Day 36. At Sea. 84, partly cloudy, seas 7'.
Back to our "at Sea" routine. The morning lecture was the history of New Zealand. As an aside, going to all of these lectures certainly has been very important for our understanding and appreciation of the places we have been. After the lecture, it's the noontime game, today an individual card game, which D & D both won. Lunch with an assortment of Bloody Mary's, Salty Dogs and Margaritas. Early FPA, afternoon technology lecture on making slideshows,
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