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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
Active RetireesTM | 17 TRAVEL CRUISE As we cruise into Taha’a the next day, I spy a cute blue and white painted church topped with a steeple and a handful of pearl farms cultivating the black pearl for which French Polynesia is famous. Blue lagoon We spend a heavenly day on the tiny islet of Motu Mahana, snorkelling in the translucent water, drinking mai tais from coconut shells and feasting on a barbecue lunch to the strains of Tahitian songstresses and ukuleles. This is a hard act to top, until we squeeze through a tiny pass to anchor in Bora Bora the next morning. The bluest lagoon I’ve ever seen is laid out in front of us; the pundits say it has seven shades of blue and, ever since its beauty was extolled by James A. Michener in the 1940s, it has drawn romantics and adventurers aplenty. Our final destination, Moorea, exudes a rugged grandeur. From our anchorage in Cook’s Bay, one of two spectacular bays carved into the northern side of the heart- shaped island, I am mesmerised by the majesty of Mt Mouaputa and the shark- toothed shape of Mt Mouaroa. Later, as we stand on the lofty Belvedere Lookout, reached via a steep road that winds past lush pineapple plantations, we see our ship sitting pretty in the bay. Now, if I replace its modern profile with that of a white schooner in full sail, I’m staring at a scene that hasn’t changed since I sat enthralled in front of the television all those years ago. •• Nothing beats the beauty of the Bora Bora lagoon; no postcard does it justice. Whatever you do on this lovely island, you must dip into its gorgeous watery expanse. If you ever manage to drag yourself out of the water, take a thrilling 2.5-hour jet ski tour. Skimming around the main island, dominated by the hulky shape of Mt Otemanu, you’ll fly past luxury resorts and sandy beaches, and then flop back into the most deliciously cool water on a private motu (islet) while the guides rustle up a coconut and pineapple snack. Another adrenaline hit is a half-day ray-feeding, shark encounter and snorkel tour aboard a zippy motorboat. Animal lovers will relish the chance to pet and even cuddle the friendly stingrays in waist-deep water, and later don snorkel and mask to dive in and watch the underwater shark-feeding show. The black-tip reef sharks are perfectly safe; I’ve lived to tell the story. The Gauguin has a variety of lagoon tours, however, numbers are limited and they sell out quickly. Passengers wanting to make their own arrangements should go ashore on the first tender of the day and enquire at the wharf-side tourist office at Vaitape, Bora Bora’s main town. The ship’s travel desk will also call local operators to make arrangements for passengers. BORA BORA High society
Active Retirees Oct-Nov
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012