Destination: Bora Bora
The Leeward Island of Bora Bora is the best-known of Tahiti’s Society Islands because it was an American supply base during World War II. It’s a place of such unrivaled beauty that though many writers and artists have tried, few have done it justice. It’s renowned among honeymooners (who make up about 90 percent of the tourist trade) and jet-setters for unspoiled coral reefs and protected lagoons so gorgeous that the painter Matisse dubbed them the seventh wonder of the world. The turquoise waters change color with the light and are transparent right to the ocean’s bottom. In the same period, a number of luxe resorts, like a string of pearls, cropped up on Bora Bora and the private motus, or islets, around it and its neighboring islands.
Perhaps because it is nearly 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States, the cost of importing food and other goods is exceptionally high. Resorts and restaurants are twice the price of those in Hawaii. Things move at island speed; don’t be surprised when your water-taxi driver stops mid-ocean to have a chat with a friend from Papeete. Cell phones may or may not work. Mosquitoes are a fact of life. Perhaps that’s the price you pay for a paradise that delivers a postcard with every glance. No wonder Fletcher Christian mutinied to stay here. It’s surprising that anyone ever goes home.
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