Friday, August 1, 2014

Bora Bora – by Gary

Bora Bora; the very name conjures up a host of clichéd images:  dusky vahinis, lean handsome tanis, cool frangipani perfumed evenings, azure lagoons, palm tree shaded beaches, all that and more.  And guess what?  All those magic clichés are still part of the mix – but alas, shamefully diluted with dross.  In this, my third swing through this part of the world in the last 35 odd years, Bora Bora’s golden goose looks to me more and more like a crispy critter.  Tourism and the packaged tourist, pursued by endless gaggles of entrepreneurial remoras seeking a slice of the action, all amid the relentless march of modernity with its automobiles, outboards, computers, mobile phones and cheap food – well lets just say the magic is wearing thin, if not the people.

From a distance the principal town, Vaitape, still looks decidedly low-key, and that backdrop still majestic.

Robe has its Big Lobster, Goulburn its Big Merino, Berri its Big Orange, and Vaitape? The Big Vahini of course – why not?

The lagoon can be stunning...

... but these things are everywhere.

Still we managed to have some fun and enjoy a real David Attenborough moment.  With James and Hanna and their three small children, Josh, Sadie and Jacob aboard (we met them back in St Helena) along with Zeke and Nina’s friend Carolyn, we set off around the island in search of manta rays.

On the prowl for mantas...

... with the sun getting hotter most of our lookouts retired below for some kid action.  They had a ball.

And find some mantas we did – it was awesome swimming with these majestic 3m+ wide creatures.  At least it was fun until two snorkel tour groups of 15 plus people each descended upon us and scared them all away! Oh well.

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