Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Honeymoon In French Polynesia: Huahine, Bora Bora

Day 7 - Huahine

After another harmless (in terms of mosquitoes) night's sleep, we are really loving this place. We awoke at about 7:45, got ready and walked down to breakfast. On the way down, we saw some banana trees.

Continental breakfast consisted of fresh fruit, croissants (plain and chocolate), muffins, toast, yogurt, juices, coffee, and jams. The cost is about $20 each. For an additional $10 per person, you could have an American breakfast which added an omelet, fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and cooked tomatoes. I elected to have an omelet, while Jill stuck with the continental breakfast. Everything was great.

Snorkeling in Huahine
With our stomachs satiated, we took the truck back to the room and took a quick Jacuzzi before going down to the beach. After lotioning ourselves and walking down to the beach, we hopped into an outrigger canoe and paddled out to a floating sun pontoon and lied out for a bit. While swimming around the pontoon, I noticed a sunken boat about 30-40 ft. down. We paddled back to the shore to get masks, snorkels, and fins (all provided by the hotel) to check out the ship. Once we returned to the pontoon, I began snorkeling. The ship was called "Erika," a 100 year old Baltic schooner. I checked it and the fish around it out for about 40 minutes, and then got Jill to come in and see it. After Jill was in the water about 5 minutes, we had our second adventure of the trip... Trying to get her attention, I lost my wedding ring from my hand and watched it tumble to the bottom. Needless to say, Jill freaked, started crying and fled from the water onto the pontoon. I on the other hand, remained calm. As I looked down, praying the ring was visible, I saw it resting about 30-35 ft. down on one of two 2'x3' raised platforms on the right middle of the boat. I must say that an inch or two away and it would have fallen between the two platforms, and we don't need to discuss that any further. Although my ears were hurting earlier, I was determined to get the ring. With one deep breath, I began to descend. I cleared my ears on the way down, and...surprise, I got the ring! I think that Jill was much happier than I was, although her wrath would have made me very unhappy if I hadn't gotten it.

We then snorkeled and sunned some more before paddling back in at about 3:30. We hung out at the pool and then took the truck back up to our hut. There we jacuzzied, showered, and relaxed until about 5:45, when we walked down to the beach to take some photos of a very beautiful sunset. Then, as we did the night before, we sat at the bar and had a $5 Coke and water with free cheese, ham and tomato on toasted bread and played backgammon and scrabble until dinner. On this night, there was a single guitarist playing at the bar.

At 8:15, we went to the restaurant for dinner. This evening, Jill had a Caesar salad and shrimp and chicken in coconut sauce. I had a grilled red snapper and chopped vegetable salad and mahi-mahi in vanilla sauce. The presentation of the food, by the way, rivals that of the best French restaurants in NYC. Everything was excellent.

After finishing dinner, we took the truck back up and went to bed, which again was a comfortable, bug-free night.

Day 8 - Huahine

After another good night's sleep, we awoke around 7:30 to the sound of chicken's and rooster's clucking. We got ready and went down to breakfast. We both had the American breakfast with fried or sunny-side eggs along with the fruit, bread, yogurt, juices, and coffee.

We then walked over to the waterfront for a while, played a little Ping-Pong (outdoors), and then headed back up, via truck, to our hut to get ready for the beach. After a short Jacuzzi, we lotioned up and walked down to the beach. On the walk we saw other huts in the distance. Once again, we took an outrigger canoe to the sun pontoon and spent the afternoon on both the pontoon and the beach.

At around 3:30, having had enough sun for the day, we trucked back up to the hut where we jacuzzied, relaxed, read and showered for dinner.

At 5:30, like clockwork, we watched and photographed the sunset and then headed to the bar for a game of scrabble. On this night, they served ham and cheese on toast as the free appetizer. There were two musicians playing and three natives provided a pareo (this is the one-piece garment that Tahitians wear as a wrap) tieing demonstration. There are more ways to tie a pareo than you want to know. It was fun.

At 8:00, we sat down for dinner. Jill had the shrimp ravioli in mushroom sauce and the triple chocolate mousse for dessert. I had a Caesar salad and the shrimp ravioli. Once again, everything was delicious.

After a relaxing dinner, we trucked back up to our fare and went to sleep. Again, we no mosquitoe problems (I remind you we had lit three coils in the hut) or animal incidents made our last night at Hana-Iti a sheer pleasure.

Day 9 - Huahine/Bora Bora

We awoke around 7:30. We took a jacuzzi and then got dressed and packed up. At about 9:00, we walked to the cliff look-out at Hana Iti and took pictures, video and enjoyed the view. The cliff was just above the waterfall described earlier. We then went back to the room and called for the truck to take us to the mountain look-out and then reception.

The mountain look-out was higher and more spectacular than the cliff look-out. After climbing several stairs, we arrived in a small hut. I, then climbed up a ladder to a look-out tower that was about 4 feet in diameter. Again, I took pictures and video. We then walked halfway down the road which the truck carried us up. We passed another hut that seemed to be perched in a tree. I, slowly checked it out (making sure it was not occupied.) For the most part, it was similar to our hut, however, the main "living" room was in a tree and was much more open (to the air) than our room. There were more seating areas than we had and a hammock. It was very cool. The bedroom, bathroom, and shower were all on one floor of a separate building. Again, this room was more open than ours, and was probably alot more buggy and therefore unoccupied. It was nice to see another hut, but I was glad ours was "sealed". We had spoken to two French guys who transfered to a "sealed" hut after one night, because the open hut they were put in was VERY buggy.

We eventually made it to reception, by truck, and checked out and started to the airport in the Land Rover. On our trip over, we hit a solid 10-15 minute downpour which was completely over by the time we arrived at the airport.

Our flight to Bora Bora left at 12:05 and arrived at 12:25. The view of Bora Bora from the sky was magnificent, even though we were on the wrong side of the plane. It is easy to see why this is called the most beautiful island in the world. We landed on a small motu, off of the main island. The majority of people were transfered to a ferry, which took them to the mainland. We, however, boarded a smaller boat from our hotel (The Bora Bora Lagoon Resort) which was also on a motu. The boat ride took about 20-30 minutes.

We docked at our hotel at about 1:00 and checked in. We received fresh coconut milk in a coconut and were escorted through the grounds to our room. We were pleasantly surprised to have been upgraded to an overwater bungalow. (We had been told not to book all over-water bungalows because honeymooners are often upgraded.) Our hut was great! Jill immediately deemed it the best. I, however, still thought Hana Iti was the best, with this being a close second. It is basically one large room with a king bed, chaise lounge, chair and ottoman, desk, TV, and glass coffee table with a hole through the floor. This table was very cool, you could see fish, day and night, right through the floor. The top slid open, as well, so you could feed the fish. The bathroom was easily the most luxurious...two sinks, a tub, shower, and separate toilet. Above the bathroom was a large tapestry. Finally, there was a large balcony with two lounges and a ladder leading to a platform on the water.

Anyway, we were starving so we ventured over to the cafe for lunch. I was pleased to find a vegetarian section on the menu. I had gazpacho soup and vegetable curry, while Jill had pasta in tomato and garlic sauce. Everything was very good.

After lunch, we came back to the room and swam in the lagoon. Then we checked out the hotel grounds, signed me up for scuba the next day, and relaxed until dinner. Surprise, we took some sunset shots and watched most of "Goodfellas" in the room. (There were 3 movie channels that are free.)

For dinner we decided to go to the more casual restaurant, since the fancier one didn't have any vegetarian choices. We both had a green salad and Napolitano pizza. Again the food was good. Jill had black forest cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

After dinner, as usual, we went back to our room and went to sleep. We slept pretty well, although there wasn't much of a breeze and we were a little warm, even with doors and windows open.

No comments: