Somehow, we felt that Bora-Bora exerted some fascination in both Adriana and I. We didn't talk much about it, but we both really wanted to visit it before wrapping up our cruising season in 2016.
But at the same time I was iffy about it. For a starter, we had high expectations - which is normally tricky. Moreover, known for its many 5-star hotels, I was concerned we might find Bora-Bora too commercial and overdeveloped in contrast to the other places we'd been to in FP.
I couldn't have been any more wrong !
Well, yes, the resorts ARE there.
But, boy isn't this island beautiful ! It was there, at the Southeastern corner of its lagoon, that we found one of the best anchorages we've stayed in all of French Polynesia. Crystalline water over a perfectly white, coral-free sand bank, well-sheltered from the prevailing winds by a motu to the east, and Bora-Bora's towering peaks composing the background to the west.
We were also in good company, with Adriana's friend Fabiana joining us for a visit:
Here, the kids having a truly hard time:
A couple more photos of our surroundings:
A short dinghy ride away, we found this lovely place at the very end of the motu:
The owner, Hilda, receives guests for the day with a strong value proposition: a good meal and her beach all to yourself. Not exactly cheap, but well worth the experience.
In conversations with Hilda, we learned she was the actual model who inspired the artist's drawing of the local beer's iconic logo: the Hinano Girl. The years may have passed, but she still retains the charm and grace of those times.
And then, we dinghied to a snorkeling spot located where the ocean breaks on the fringing reef:
Need I say more?
Now, THIS is a coral garden:
Bora-Bora was a gran finale to a great cruising season in French Polynesia !