Every once in a while, a weary traveler steps into a world that is exactly what she hoped it would be. For me that’s Paris at sunset, the cloud forest in Costa Rica, a sailboat on the Magothy River.
As lovely as those are, I’m not sure anything can top Bora Bora. Just the name makes me sigh with delight.
To celebrate 35 years of marriage this year my husband and I decided to go away — far away. Three days in Bora Bora, 10 days in New Zealand.
It takes 20 hours to fly from home to Los Angeles to Papeete to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The last leg took us over mounds of clouds that had been pouring rain on this tropical paradise. Along the way we flew over three rainbows. I felt like Dorothy — but without the tornado. When our visit began with rainbows, I knew it would be special.
We stayed at the Bora Bora Pearl Resort, in an over the water bungalow that faced a dormant volcano called Mt. Otemanu. The lagoon, its color shifting from palest green to aquamarine to lapis blue, was crystal clear. Underneath us were tropical fish in a rainbow of colors who lived in a cluster of coral. Two yellow butterfly fish were so quick to appear when I jumped in the water I started calling them Patricia and Angela.
And the bungalow was perfect. Plenty of room to relax, a little desk for writing postcards, a big bathroom and dressing area and a day bed. Outside there was a deck with two lounge chairs and a small dining table and down a few steps were an outdoor shower and the swimming deck right above the water.
With that view, that gorgeous bathwater warm lagoon, and the cool breezes that offset the hot sun, I knew I had found a place where I could stay forever.
I did leave my little piece of heaven for meals, a quick paddle boarding adventure, a Polynesian show, and two trips across the lagoon to Vaitape to go to church and another time to visit the black pearl shops.
But I always looked forward to getting back to my wonderful bungalow. There was so much to do! Enjoy the view, read a book, swim with the fish. Watch the sunrise or sunset. R-E-L-A-X in a way I never did before.
Coming up in coming weeks: New Zealand.
Ⓒ Photos and text Mary K. Tilghman