Day #65 - Dream Achieved!

Regular readers will know that we're not a big fan of transit days - those days when we have to leave one location and travel to the next. Taxis, airports, check-ins, security, re-packing, un-packing.... it can all be a bit tiring (I know we're not going to get a great deal of sympathy, but it is true to say the most exhausting part of travelling is, well, travelling!). 

However, today's transit day was different. Not only has this day been highly anticipated, it was also the day we knew things were going to be different. Today we travelled to Bora-Bora.

We left our lovely hotel in Tahiti in the morning and headed to the island's small airport. It was hot and humid and we were a little confused, since we couldn't see our departing flight on the departure boards - we didn't even know which airline we were flying with, all we had was a flight number and time! After a couple of inquiries, we found the right check in desk and somehow we both managed to sneak our rather heavy hand luggage past the 5kg max weight allowance!

Our aircraft was the smallest we've been in so far (hence the weight restriction) but it was half empty so we didn't feel too guilty! It was also the first propellor plane I think James has been on. All the spare seats also afforded us a choice of seats which meant James was able to capture some lovely shots from the air of the French Polynesian islands as we flew over them.

On landing at Bora-Bora's airport, we were instantly struck by this island's beauty. Usually airports aren't the most attractive of locations, but this one was set against the most magnificent scenery. The airport (like Hawaii's) was mainly open sided buildings and it all seemed very informal as we collected our luggage from what reminded me of the shelves behind the counter at Argos. The porters put the bags in on one side, we collected them on the other!

The next part took our breath away. At the end of the arrivals lounge were boats. Boats sat in the most beautiful waters you have seen, with a stunning green mountain backdrop for added effect. We were to be transported to our hotel by boat - and not just any old boat, a small launch that wouldn't seem out of place in any James Bond movie. 

As we sped across the water, we felt incredible. This really was a special and beautiful way to travel - even more so, when our fellow passengers (just four of them) were dropped off at one location and James and I then had the boat all to ourselves for the final part of our journey. We did feel a bit like royalty or celebrities especially when, as we approached the hotel's landing, we were "piped" ashore by a man blowing a conch shell. 

We docked at our hotel's landing and were greeted by the most friendly of staff. Having been given beautiful leis at the airport we felt the part as we were escorted into the hotel's main reception area and restaurant. 

Our room wouldn't be ready until the afternoon, as it the usual practice in hotels. so we took the opportunity to have a spot of lunch and take in our new spectacular surroundings. The outside seating area backs on to a lovely beach with the whitest sand you have seen. After the black sand beaches of Tahiti, we were mesmerised by the clear waters lapping at these pristine beaches. 

Then it was time for the main event! Our room.

Staying in an Over-the-Water Bungalow in Bora-Bora has been an ambition and dream of James' for many years. The anticipation of finally making that dream a reality was tangible! 

We were escorted along the boardwalks to our hotel hostess, who looked after us so well on arrival. We hadn't been able to book a specific bungalow back when we made the reservation in March, so we didn't know if we were to be near to the beach or far out to sea! 

We arrived at bungalow No.16 - our paradise home for the next six nights - and we weren't disappointed! In fact, the reality blew away all expectations!

The bungalow is amazing. From it's captivating see-through coffee table, to the beautiful bathroom, the quality of the room is fantastic. However, the main attraction is the patio and deck that leads you straight down into the stunning waters below. 

The resort has created mini-coral reefs by stimulating coral growth on metal frames, which in turn attract the most colourful and beautiful fish to swim right below your accommodation. Yellow and blue Butterfly fish and Trumpetfish are the most common we have seen, but there are plenty of others - it's just our identification skills aren't great! 

As you can imagine, we were thoroughly enchanted by our room and spent the next hour or so repeating "Oh, my god!" and "This is amazing" to each other - as well as taking lots of pictures. 

When you see holiday destinations and hotels in brochures and on websites, you know that the images they use to sell to you are enhanced, Photoshopped and boosted to make a stunning image. Well, here there was no need to do any of that, the whole location is so photogenic that no editing is needed. The colour of the water is that clear, is that blue!

Later in the day, we explored the rest of the resort. We have the use of a pool, canoes, snorkels, sun loungers, a private beach and of course a bar that does make the best cocktails of the holiday so far. We spent another hour or two making use of all this (mainly the bar and pool!).

The evening saw us attend another dinner show. The hotel played host to a spectacular event full of Polynesian dance, accompanied by a most delectable buffet. The eye-catching, exciting performances, accompanied by drums, guitars and ukuleles, delighted everyone watching. Even though this was our third such show, we still were enthralled by the rhythm of the dancing. The graceful movements of the female dancers contrasted with the powerful, more staccato movements of the men.

The buffet was incredible. The range of food was vast with a chef freshly grilling meats and fish to order. It was the first buffet I've been to where oysters were on offer (yes I did try and no, never again!). Swordfish curry, pork stew, ribeye steak, sauteed beef, sweet & sour chicken and pineapple salad, spring rolls, raw fish in coconut (see yesterday for recipe!) and our new favourite dish - sweet potato gratin. The selection of over 20 desserts presented me with the most impossible choice! You can imagine how stuffed we were. We were physically in pain!

So, this transit day was one to remember for all the right reasons! Bring on tomorrow!