Jeanette & Jerry's Amazing Pacific Adventures 2011 travel blog




























































Saturday, October 1 – Bora Bora, French Polynesia In some places we significantly increase the population when we pull into port. When our most of our 1900 passengers and perhaps half of our crew of 900 (maybe 2000 total) disembark the ship on Bora Bora, it must seem like an invasion to the 7000 who live there. Tourism is the source of income for the island population and our arrival in port results in a fury of activity for the several hours we are ashore. These must be pretty sleepy places when we are not around! The downturn in the world’s economy has impacted even these remote places. Each of these islands has some major hotels closed and boarded up including Bora Bora. However, there are many expensive accommodations remaining and French Polynesia is said to be one of the most expensive places to live, second only to Japan.

We toured Bora Bora on “Le Truck”, an open air bus made mounted on a truck bed. We got a bit of a bumpy ride but we could hang out the window to take photos. There is only one road on the island – it virtually follows the water’s edge, encircles the island, and has not one traffic signal. On the tour we saw how they make and wear the colorful traditional wrap-around garment called a pareo. Most of the beaches on these volcanic islands are covered with black sand, from the volcanic ash that has been washed up by the sea. However, we stopped at a white sand beach that is made of coral fragments. Lots of famous folks have property here or visit Bora Bora. We saw condos built on stilts over the water said to have been those of Marlin Brando and Jack Nichols. (The heirs of Brando also own an entire island with a reef and lagoon that is 18 miles from Tahiti that they are developing into luxury accommodations for the public.)

The reef here has islands on it encircling the mainland. From the air, the footprint of the reefs and the lagoons are more than that of the mainland. Hard to imagine how beautiful this is. Many hotels and overwater huts are built out in the lagoon and on stilts. It is quite a unique place – amazing variations in color in the waters of the lagoons!

We stopped at Bloody Mary’s Bar and Restaurant long enough to see the list of the rich and famous that are said to have been customers while in Bora Bora. The floor of the entire place is just sand and the restrooms are quite unique. (Jeanette: We did not have time for a Bloody Mary, which means not time to help the local economy there.)

After the tour we did have time to tour almost every shop on the island - of course they are all at the pier. Here, Jeanette did have time to acquire a significant portion of their goods (or so it seemed). This included a jar of locally grown vanilla bean pods. We learned yesterday that the beans can be used and reused in many interesting ways and preserved in dark rum.

Upon our return to the ship we proceeded up to the top deck to watch the island recede in the distance as we left for Pago Pago in American Soma. After dinner we were entertained by a very talented London born singer/dancer who lives in Australia, Simon Gillespe. We have two days at sea head allowing us to rest up for our next day ashore.

Sunday, October 2 – At sea Our history lectures resumed with a discussion of the migration of peoples to this corner of the planet. We learned of the timing of the movement of the various groups west to east from Asia to these islands. Melanesians to first went to Australia, then Micronesians to Tonga, Somoa, and New Guinia and then the Polynesians to the other islands, including Hawaii relatively recently. We also had another destination lecture on the upcoming visit to Pago Pago, American Somoa.

We attended the Captain’s circle party in the afternoon, got a free drink and news about Princess cruises, and special presentations were made to the three passengers on board who have spend the most days at sea with Princess. The top traveler is an Aussie who has sailed 1324 days with Princess. What a life! After dinner last night we were entertained by Ivor Richards, a British comedian who sang a bit. He had quite a string of one liners – British humor for the most part- that were quite funny.

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