2014.3.17It’s our last day at French Polynesia. The typhoon was finally moved away. We were struggling between the Shark and Ray feeding tour around the lagoon and going to the main island, eventually we figured it’s possible to do both in one day.
We booked the Shark and Ray feeding tour in the morning. It’s a half-day tour, which doesn’t include lunch at motu. The cost is 11,500 XPF ($125) per person. The tour started at 9am. There were two other couples on the boat. Our guides are from a family. Once the boat left the resort and reached the middle of the lagoon, two young guide started playing local instruments and singing local songs.
The boat circled the main island in clockwise direction. At the southern end of the island, we made the first stop to swim with sharks. The water is shallow here. Sharks were easily visible.
Sailing for another quarter of a circle, the second stop was snorkeling over the coral garden. The water color contrasts clearly in this part of the lagoon.
The last stop we made is the most interesting one, to feed rays. The water is so shallow that one can stand in the water. The guide held small fishes to attract rays to come around him, then he guided them to us. These rays knew there were easy food waiting for them. They were so eager and felt we were on their way so sometimes they were like trying to push us away from the behind. Occasional I could touch their mouth as they swam to me, it felt like they were biting my fingers gently.
Between these stops, two young guides kept singing and talking jokes to make sure we were entertained. They also pointed to us the luxury resorts on the motu and attractions on the main island from time to time.
We returned to the resort at about 12:20pm. The next boat shuttle to Vaitape would leave at 1pm. We had 40 minutes to take shower, pack our stuff and check out. The shuttle’s round trip charge was about 2500 XPF ($28) per person. Vaitape is on the other side of the island. The boat ride is about 35 minutes.
Vaitape is the capital city of Bora Bora. The boat dropped us at the port and confirmed with everyone on the pick-up time. The port is the center of this small town. A flee market is next to the port. Mostly selling local textile and small wood or stone sculptures. At the north side, there is a grocery store on the other side of the road.
There are about 20 stores spreading around the port. Most of them are pearl shops and souvenir stores. My wife bought a bracelet at Bora Home. We like their selections of arts and jewelry.
It’s sunny for the whole afternoon. The boat picked us up at 4:30pm. When we returned to the resort, the boat that would transfer us to the airport were already waiting for us. Although the weather was not cooperating, our experience in Bora Bora was pleasant. Le Méridien’s service was very good too. Whenever a ride was needed, especially in the rainy days, we just called the front desk and they would send a cart to get us right away. Of course, it’s also an expensive experience. The boat transfer between the resort and the airport was 8500 XPF ($94) per person.
Our flight to the Easter Island was at 2am. We waited for 6 hours at Tahiti’s airport. Luckily, a cafe right next to the airport entrance opens 24 hours a day. We met an elder couple who were on our flight from Moorea to Bora Bora two days ago. They were on their way returning to the States. There were surprised that we were going to the Easter Island, “Is it somewhere people normal go?”. No, it’s not. That’s why we were going.
After 12am, we were allowed to check in and enter the departure hall. Compared to the simplicity of outside, the departure hall is more modern and comfortable. There are many couches.