Stormy Days and Fishy Nights in Bora Bora
After getting settled into our amazing over the water bungalow in Bora Bora, Amanda and I weren’t quite sure how we were going to occupy ourselves. We expected to go swimming and snorkeling and do other outdoor things, but the horrible rain was making it difficult to stay outside for more than a few minutes at a time. For the majority of the next 48 hours, we were rained in in paradise.
Storm of Problems
We did get an impromptu tour of the private island from a guy who worked for the hotel. It’s not a big island, so we walked around most of it and went up to the look-out on top. From there we could see the bungalows where we were staying as well as the ones at the hotel’s other location. Even with the storm clouds in the sky, it was an amazing view. I’m sure it would’ve been a great place to watch the sunset, if only the sky would clear up.
Meals were interesting. We weren’t on any sort of all-inclusive package, and our location was so secluded that our only choices for sustenance were our hotel’s two locations. Even though I expected high prices and I knew this wasn’t a budget location, it was still painful to look at the menu. A hamburger with fries and a Coke cost me about US$30. Dinner the first night was so expensive that we decided to just have tapas at the bar on our second night. The bar area was partially opened to the outside which meant a stray cat kept wandering over to our table, and at one point it came millimeters from stealing a chicken wing off my plate. Amanda even skipped lunch altogether one day because it was too pricey.
We had direct access to the water from our balcony, so we tried snorkeling during a break in the rain, but the water was so rough it made me feel sick. Anytime we wanted to use the super expensive wifi (really, not included with the already high price of our room?) we had to get the front desk to call the boat to take us to the main location because the storm had knocked out the wifi on the private island. At night the rain, wind, waves, and thunder made me worry that our little hut would collapse into the water. It was like we had signed up for a luxury hurricane, and I was beginning to wonder why I was even there.
The part of staying in an over the water bungalow that excited us the most was the big glass “window” on the floor. At night a light under the bungalow attracted fish so we could watch them swim. However, watching wasn’t really good enough for us, so when we noticed tiny notches in the floor, we realized others had pried up the glass. We followed the example set by our bungalow ancestors, propped up the heavy glass with a hanger and a spoon, and started throwing bits of bread down to the fish.
The next day we asked some other guests if they saw many fish under their bungalow. Their response was “no, only a couple.” I guess they were all over at our place. Oops.
On our second night, we decided to go all out and pull the glass completely off. We sat on the floor for at least two hours giggling and throwing tiny pieces of bread to the fish. Oddly enough, our nighttime fish feedings turned out to be the highlight of our trip to Bora Bora. Of course there are plenty of other things to do in Bora Bora, but feeding the fish from our bungalow was really fun.
Let the Sun Shine
The Bora Bora sky got all the storm out of its system on our second and final night on the island. On the morning we had to check out, we woke up to gorgeous blue skies with only a few white puffy clouds. The water that looked pretty in the midst of the storm suddenly looked stunningly blue-green with the sun’s full light shining on it. We even got a spectacular rainbow while waiting to board our flight back to Tahiti.
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June 25, 2012 @ 2:48 PM
I love that feeding fish was the high light of your trip to BORA BORA. Well hey you gotta do what you gotta do to kill time. I would have been scared though if I was in a lil hut over the water and a storm was going on. Sucks though that the sun came out on the last day. I mean really… why does it happen like that? Nice shots~
June 25, 2012 @ 4:48 PM
Thanks Jaime! I just kept telling myself it had to be built strong enough to deal with high winds. It didn’t sway or anything but it was really loud. Feeding the fish was so much fun!
June 25, 2012 @ 3:03 PM
Oh my god, I think I would have spent the whole time crying if I’d gone all that way to Bora Bora and it rained everyday except the day I left!
June 25, 2012 @ 4:49 PM
Yeah, it was quite annoying! But at least we had that glass on the floor and got to feed the fish at night, so much more fun that I would’ve thought doing that!
June 25, 2012 @ 5:29 PM
Sometimes you just have to make the best of bad weather and it sounds like you did!
June 25, 2012 @ 5:59 PM
June 25, 2012 @ 5:49 PM
Somehow, I just can’t justify the prices at places like these. Bora Bora will just have to wait.
June 25, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
I can totally understand that. The whole time I kept thinking, the Gili Islands in Indonesia were just as gorgeous and sooooo much cheaper!
Caanan @ No Vacation Required
June 25, 2012 @ 6:40 PM
That rainbow pic is a-mah-zing. Glad the sun finally came out for you.
June 26, 2012 @ 2:07 PM
Thanks Caanan! A few hours of nice weather was better than nothing.
Snooker in Berlin
June 26, 2012 @ 10:26 AM
Really sorry to hear about your Bora Bora rainout. It IS a beautiful place, but of course the rain puts a damper on it. I must say that for my buck, I would hop from urban Tahiti (unless you get a native to take you into the mountainous region) to Moorea, which is a great little island with everything one could want (including a bundle of fresh-cut mini pineapples 2$).
Hopefully the rest of your trip will be better.
June 26, 2012 @ 2:10 PM
Thanks! We did actually decide to go to Moorea about a week later, and it was a great island!
Snooker in Berlin
June 26, 2012 @ 2:53 PM
Wonderful! Now I’m looking forward to hearing about your Moorea thoughts.
June 26, 2012 @ 10:35 PM
Thanks, I appreciate it!
June 26, 2012 @ 9:20 PM
Ali those photos are incredible. I never thought about Bora Bora before but now you have me thinking…
June 26, 2012 @ 10:35 PM
Thanks Ayngelina! It really was a gorgeous place, despite the bad weather we had most of the time. Soooo expensive though!
June 29, 2012 @ 8:57 AM
Too bad about the stormy weather, but glad you were able to make the most of the situation and feed the fish. It’s too bad even the food was so high priced. It would be nice if they included a menu of just things produced on the island, which could be a lot cheaper. Incredible photos!
June 29, 2012 @ 2:40 PM
Thanks Mark! Some of the food was at least listed as local, but unfortunately I think they know they can get away with charging high prices on a resort like that. And even when we went looking for something NOT on the resort, we couldn’t find anything. Got the feeling not many people live there full time, but who knows.
June 30, 2012 @ 6:50 PM
What a bummer! That rainbow is sure spectacular, though.
I debated doing Tahiti as a stopover on the way to NZ, but I’m glad I spent the days in NZ instead.
July 1, 2012 @ 12:04 PM
Thanks Erik! I don’t think the island of Tahiti itself is all that great, it’s very urban since it’s where the capital is. The nice beaches and what you see in the photos are from the other islands. I think you made the right decision too.
July 2, 2012 @ 3:06 PM
Love these photos! I dream of visiting Bora Bora one day, although not sure the budget will quite stretch to it just yet 😉 Those over water bungalows look amazing.
July 2, 2012 @ 8:41 PM
Thanks Julia! Yeah, it is rather expensive, and really, there are cheaper places that are just as gorgeous. Even one of the other islands within French Polynesia.
July 12, 2012 @ 7:45 PM
So frustrating that it rained so much while you were there! I can see that when it did get sunny you took full advantage and got some amazing photos! Looks gorgeous!
July 12, 2012 @ 9:44 PM
Thanks! It was frustrating, but it was still gorgeous. And it was great that it cleared up the morning we were checking out because at least we had a few hours to take pictures of the island at its best.