Friday, October 28, 2011

Bidding Adieu to Bora Bora

October 27, 2011.... I had decided to wake up really early to go catch the sunrise today. So I was out with my tripod and cam at 5:10 am. Sunrise was around 5:30. I walked to the east shore of the motu...there isn't much of a shoreline or beach here so I didn't expect anything dramatic. It was mostly for my photography experience and coz I'm in love with my Canon 7d! ....

Sunrise at Bora Bora...
The setting was so peaceful...waves rushing to the shore, not one soul around, the sun starting to peak from the horizon.... one with nature! I tried several shots before the sun came out including several sets to try HDR on. Excited! Then as the sun came up a dense cloud came right in front of the sun covering it and spreading the rays out! It was fantastic... I was very excited to take pictures...can't wait to see if I did justice to the majesty of the scenery. I was there for a good 20 mins after the which point my cam complained "memory full" ...sigh! And of course my spare memory card was in the room! I had to delete a few shots so I could shoot some pics of other vantage points on my walk back to the room.

Back in the room, I decided to go for a swim from our hut to the shore (DH had challenged me earlier)... it was an invigorating swim, the water was perfect...this should be life...jump into water right outside ur room and go for a swim! ;-) after that refreshing swim we headed to the breakfast buffet. Since we had to checkout at 11, we took our own sweet time having a leisurely breakfast... packed sandwiches for later in the day and headed back. Finally got to enjoy the mango I had packed during the biking trip...yummy! It was amazingly sweet. DH checked if we could do a late checkout..we were good till 1:30!!! We should have checked earlier coz by then I was showered and ready to go! But since we had the time, we just chilled in the room. When it was time to checkout we headed over to the reception, got lovely shell leis from the staff, then went over to the bar to enjoy some drinks.

Our boat to the airport was at 2 pm. Note: the hotel charges for the boat service to and from theairport. Le Meridien charged 7000 cfp (~$85) each way.

Check in to Air Tahiti was smooth. Our flight took off at around 3:10 pm. Everyone at the airport seemed a wee bit sad! :-( and all those folks arriving at the airport had a big smile on their faces...seemed like only yesterday that we were there with a big smile on our faces! Sigh!

Le Meridien in Papeete
We landed at Tahiti Fa'aa airport a little after 4. We were booked into the  Le Meridien in Tahiti. Surprisingly the hotel does not provide a shuttle from the airport. We decided to exchange some dollars before getting a taxi to the airport. the exchange rate seemed to be better than that at the hotel - approx 80 cfp for a dollar but once we went into the bank we realized they charge 580 cfp as commission bringing the exchange rate lower than the one at the hotel!! The taxi cost us about 2000 cfp and driving through Papeete, we were glad that we decided to stay in Bora Bora the whole time instead of Tahiti. Le Meridien in Tahiti is quite nice and the hotel faces west, so there is lovely view of the sun setting over the ocean. The hotel has a pool with a sandy beach like setting around it. We got a room on the 6th floor facing the ocean. I set up my tripod in the balcony hoping to get some sunset pics. We went down to the beach bar to have some drinks.
Sunset at Papeete as seen from Le Meridien
I got some cool shots of the beach, ocean, and the over water bungalows...which we realized were not half as nice as the ones in Le Meridien in Bora Bora...score for picking that over this. These huts did not have direct access to the lagoon, which made the whole OWB concept pointless! We really enjoyed the drinks while the sun set over the ocean . I headed back to the room to try and get some sunset pics from our balcony.
We then headed over to 'Le Plantation' restaurant in the hotel for dinner. The food - hot goat cheese salad, tomato soup, bami goreng (Indonesian noodles) and Polynesian tuna platter - was very good and went well with the red wine we had! Creme brulee was very good too! All in all a wonderful end to a very relaxing and excellent vacation. We retired early since we had to wake up at 4 am to get to the airport by 5 for our 7:30 am flight to LA.

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