Up into the Mountains in Bora Bora

Bora Bora is of volcanic origin and the island is surrounded by a coral barrier reef and lagoon, which makes it a lovely aquatic-centered tourist destination.

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Over the past few years seven high-end resorts have ben built on small islands surrounding the lagoon. Hotel Bora Bora, built 30 years ago, was the first to build over-the-water bungalows on stilts in the lagoon and now the bungalows are standard features of most resorts with rates varying from $400 to $15,000 a night.  Bora Bora’s main attraction is its crystal clear, multi-cored lagoon offering a full array of nautical and land activities including jet skiing, snorkeling, sailing, swimming, and out-rigger canoeing.

Bora Bora 2

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Our side trip on Bora Bora took us of the beaten track and away from the beaches to places only accessible by off-road, four-wheel-drive vehicles.Bora Bora 5

First we drove through the town of Vaitape to go up Pahonu Hill to see great views of Bora Bora’s natural harbor and Matira Beach. However, the dirt path up through the dense vegetation was just too steep and slippery to allow us to make the ascent.

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Back on the main road we stopped at the Pearl Farm where we learned about pearl farming. This pearl culturing experience was very informative and educational; and the sales facility and their products were lovely.  We were glad to be under cover during a brief shower.

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We passed by Matira Beach as we continued on to another dirt track that followed a drainage gulley up the mountain to a beautiful lookout and the site of two 7-inch cannons still in their WWII locations along with bunkers. The canons had a 10-mile range and were aimed in opposite directions to protect the island from a sea attack by ships, but the Island never saw action during the war and acted primarily as a supply depot.  Next we drove along the north shore of the island into the lush valley of Faanui and then we climbed high up in the mountainous area to a view Faanui Bay.

Graceful Australian pines

Graceful Australian pines

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Later we enjoyed some refreshments at a tie-dying facility. It was interesting to see how they put cut outs and plant leaves on the tie-dyed material to bleach out designs in the material. We also learned about their ancestor worship practices whereby they put the burial tombs of their relatives in the front yards of their homes.

Pareos created by the sun

Pareos created by the sun

Various sun blocking items are put on the colored fabric and then it is laid in the sun to bake.

Various sun blocking items are put on the colored fabric and then it is laid in the sun to bake.

Flower of the banana plant.

Flower of the banana plant.

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Example of ancestor worship. The deceased relative is buried in the front yard and is honored with the placement of fresh flowers daily.

Somehow all seven of us survived this wild experience of being jostled left, right, up, down, and all but upside down in this sturdy off-road vehicle with a very brave, and determined driver, who did his best to make our trip with him memorable, educational and certainly unforgettable.  Barb got whip lashed and MJ got a bruised elbow and 13 chigger bites.  But it sure is beautiful here!

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One Response to “Up into the Mountains in Bora Bora”

  1. I’m jealous. I loved the flower of the banana plant. The colors there are just …well,….you know because you were there.

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