As Yogi Berra said, deja vu all over again. We were here in April (Day 74 of our journey), and at that time we visited for two days. We rented a scooter and drove around the island twice, and Mike went diving with spotted eagle rays. The history of Bora Bora, and its meaning, are discussed on that page. Today we went after some obscure facts to go with our beyond-gorgeous photos.
Bora Bora is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the photos, you can see several layers of blue water, which is the sand deepening around the outer reef. It, along with all of Tahiti, is extremely secluded, and expensive to get to. To put that in perspective, Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia gets in a year! Bora Bora has no poisonous snakes or insects, meaning you can freely sit or sleep on the spectacular white sand beaches without risk. There are black pearls for sale everywhere in Tahiti! No escaping pearls in every imaginable setting…earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings…it gets more creative every time we visit!
During World War II, the US chose Bora Bora as a supply outpost for its South Pacific Fleet. It acted as an oil depot, airstrip, and seaplane base, and defensive fortifications were constructed around it.
We had the equivalent of about $25 US in Tahitian francs that we wanted to get rid of, since we don’t know when we will return to French Polynesia. And since we only carry backpacks, we really don’t have room for coinage. So we went to the local village today and bought a few necessities just to get rid of our currency. We were left with the equivalent of about $2.50. We planned to put it in the poor box of the local church, but the doors were locked. So we thought we might just give it to any children we saw, but they were all in school. Then we passed an old, world-weary woman selling bunches of tiny bananas, about 5 inches long. We decided that although we didn’t need them, we would buy two of them for all the rest our money, as we can get all the fruit we want on board our ship. We don’t speak French, and the woman didn’t speak English, so we picked out two of the midget bananas and tried to pay her. She brushed us off, gesturing us to just take them, and added a third. But from her, we wanted the favor of getting rid of our heavy coins. So she must have thought we were nuts to pay $2.50 for them, but in the end, we all won. We got a small delicious snack, and she got a great profit margin from her backyard fruit. You can see our Bonanza Bananas in the last photo!