French Polynesia Gap Year: Tahiti, Bora-Bora, Moorea & Huahine
After a long flight, I arrived at Tahiti airport without booking any hotel accommodation. I checked flights to the other islands and discovered that there a cost cutting ticket which takes in four or five islands. I booked the ticket and spent a very uncomfortable night sleeping on some hard plastic chairs in the airport. My first flight left in the morning to my dream destination of Bora Bora. I managed to find some budget hotel run by a French family.
The view of Bora Bora from the small plane looked stunning with its lagoon and turquoise colours. At the airport we were surprised to be taken by catamaran to the main island. The views of Bora Bora from the catamaran
were breathtaking with the two peaks of Bora Bora’s extinct volcano (Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu) dominating the scenery and rising to an amazing 727 metres. After landing on the island, a pickup truck took everyone to their hotel. I was pleasantly surprised to find my hotel next to the beach with a wooden pathway leading into the lagoon. I slept really well on my first night in Bora Bora with the sounds of the waves gently splashing against the outside of the hotel.
The next day I met a young South African couple who were staying at the hotel. They invited me to come and swim with some sharks on a hired boat which was about to leave for a day’s trip in the ocean. As I can barely swim a few metres I decided to pass this great opportunity to become the latest traveller to become a shark’s breakfast. I decided to explore the island after breakfast and I was pleasantly surprised to find a very uncrowded and laid back island. After just 30 minutes of walking I found a whole beach to myself. I was just beginning to enjoy the peace and tranquility when a family with small children appeared a few metres away. I carried on exploring the island on foot and then made my way back to the hotel. I swam (or should I say walked) around the shallow lagoon until I was surrounded by local children who found great pleasure in talking about bodily fluids and functions in French to me.
After a wonderful four days in Bora Bora, it was time to travel to the next French Polynesian islands of Huahine and Moorea before returning to Papeete – the capital of Tahiti.
Travelogue coming soon.
Next Stop: Gap year travel to Canada >>