50 Shades of Blue

I admit it; I always thought of the South Pacific islands as "Tahiti" but to be geographically correct, they are French Polynesia and Tahiti is just one of the 118 Islands that make up this heaven on earth destination.

I was lucky to travel on a Travel Agent trip (tough life but someone has to), which meant seeing a total of 4 islands plus countless properties to help sell/understand the destination better. Since I was a little girl I had saved photos of the islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti from a calendar, dreaming of going there one day. 40 years later I made it and it was definitely worth the wait!

The international flights leave LA on an overnight flight and 8 hours later you land in Papeete, Tahiti in the morning. Paradise awaits and I spent a couple days in Tahiti, including the annual Tahiti Travel Exchange, plus hotel inspections, some time to swim and enjoy and island tour. The tour includes the Marae Arahurahu (religious site decimated to the ancient gods). Then we saw the Vaipahi waterfalls, followed by "the Blow Hole", lookout point Venus Point where Captain James Cook landed, and yet one more stop at the Taharaa View Point. There is a misconception hat the island of Tahiti doesn't have things to do/see but I have to say it was one of my favourites of the trip!

Then off we flew to Bora Bora and everything you have ever seen/read about it is true. It's more beautiful in person than even photos tell you; and no photoshop is needed at all. We were all jaw droopingly quiet just absorbing the absolute beauty of this destination. After a snorkel with black tipped sharks, sting rays and fish a plenty; we did some more hotel inspections and were blessed with sleeping that night at the Conrad by Hilton by in OVER THE WATER BUNGALOWS. I cried I was so happy :-) 

Next day was more site inspections, saw how a local non-profit coral-farm. Because of the damage storms and humans do to choral it is starting to be considered endangered so many NGO's are helping by re-growing coral that has come off the reef, and it's working! We also visited a turtle sanctuary at Le Meridian Bora Bora, where turtles are nursed back to health after being injured by boats, garbage or disease. The people of French Polynesia really believe in protecting the environment and recognize how fragile it is, and it was so wonderful to see the love put into preserving this piece of paradise.

Our last Island of the tour was the solitude of Taha'a, which has only one resort on it; Le Taha'a Island Resort, a delightful way to finish off our tour. The food was delicious, the service outstanding and our (once again) over the water bungalows were private pieces of paradise. I enjoyed my deck the following morning with coffee and a book, listening to the waves lap, watching the sun lazily move it's way up the sky and sighed with bliss.

I could go on endlessly about Tahiti, but I shall leave you all with one thought. Getting to Tahiti is relatively easy, and you can do it on a budget by staying on the resorts over ground, just spoil yourself with a couple nights on an over the water bungalow or not at all. The beauty of these islands, the friendliness of the Tahitian's and their genuine love of their home makes this destination awe inspiring, incredibly peaceful and just fills your heart with love.