Patrick's Tour, Bora Bora, July 9, 2010

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Patrick's Tour, Bora Bora, July 9, 2010

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:37 pm

No not our Patrick. :lol: http://www.maohinui.net/index.php?optio ... 21&Itemid=

Patrick Tairua runs independent tours of Bora Bora which have been favorably reviewed on http://cruisecritic.com. With just one day there 5 of us on Paul Gauguin opted for this comprehensive tour. In the morning Patrick drives us into the rugged hills for panoramic views. Don't try this in a rental car; check out the road, and this was dry season.
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The US chose Bora Bora to establish a military presence in French Polynesia during WWII. Here's one of the guns overlooking the lagoon entrance and the Paul Gauguin.
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More lagoon views from the hills.
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Bora Bora has large motus on its outer reef and there are several luxury hotels on the motus as well as on the main island.

Vanilla beans drying.
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About noon we transfer to a boat and head out to a motu for lunch. They have cooked a whole pig in the ground with other traditional Polynesian dishes. Our lunch table is in shallow water with a view of the main island.
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The afternoon is spent circling most of the lagoon with 3 snorkel stops. The first stop was outside the reef where snorkelers could see the blacktip and lemon sharks. The second stop was a shallow area where we could feed the stingrays.
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Many of the luxury hotels are near the south tip of Bora Bora. Multiple story overwater bungalows at the Intercontinental here:
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Bora Bora Beach Resort with mountain backdrop:
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These places are extremely (read heliski level once you include food and excursions) expensive. The Paul Gauguin is not cheap, but I think it's the best way to see these islands. If you want a land based resort in the South Pacific, Fiji is a better value IMHO.

We had a 3rd snorkel stop with the typical degraded coral but an abundance of colorful fish and other sea life. Our guide brought us back to the dock, playing his ukulele and steering the boat with his feet.
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This was a great way to see Bora Bora. I got back to the ship and was soon off to my night dive.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
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Re: Patrick's Tour, Bora Bora, July 9, 2010

Postby EMSC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:41 am

Tony,

From 20,000 feet away, it seems to me that your eclipse tours are almost more about an excuse to go to all the corners of the world to experience places you'd not likely go otherwise; with then the added bonus of there always being an eclipse to see as well... Good stuff though, if a bit out of my price range and time-off range (at least for the moment).
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Re: Patrick's Tour, Bora Bora, July 9, 2010

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:24 pm

EMSC wrote:it seems to me that your eclipse tours are almost more about an excuse to go to all the corners of the world to experience places you'd not likely go otherwise

This is definitely the right way to look at it. Most people will eventually get unlucky with the clouds, so I think it's worth the effort to plan the rest of the trip for as many things you really want to do. The reality check is that supply and demand may create an extra "eclipse premium" cost beyond what a visit to that destination would otherwise cost. Easter Island this time was an extreme example, where the cost of going there during this eclipse may have been $5,000 more than what our 2007 Chile tour operator would charge at another time. I will probably go to Easter Island the next time I ski in Chile. The Paul Gauguin is in French Polynesia year-round and many of the cruise websites offer ~$2,000+ discounts off retail price, sometime with a package deal on the airfare from L.A. Food on that ship is first class and there is an open bar; you'll have little desire to spend big $ on food or drink during the port calls.

Needless to say, no discounts on this eclipse cruise; it sold out within weeks when first offered 15 months before the eclipse. Two of my 6 eclipse trips were arranged independently (Hungary 1999 and Egypt 2006) and had virtually no extra cost because of the eclipse. There were no easy/cheap options for 2010, thus the quick sellout for the Paul Gauguin. Next time in November 2012 could be more reasonable. The Cairns/Port Douglas area of Australia has 50,000 tourist beds which should easily handle eclipse visitors as it's not the normal high tourist season. There may also be a wider choice of cruises.

When we finally get our turn here in the U.S. August 21, 2017, anyone can get somewhere on the path between Oregon and South Carolina within a day or two driving on their own.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9800
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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