Bora Bora is calling
I feel the tension drain from my shoulders before the plane even touches down. Bora Bora is a 45-minute flight from Papeete, and 30 minutes in I am blessed with breathtaking views of its extinct volcanic peaks, sheltered lagoon and smattering of white-fringed coral islets.
The plane lands on one of the small islets that forms a ring around the lagoon. A boat transfer is required to reach the mainland or any of the glamorous resorts.
The road is virtually flat, so hiring a pushbike is on the agenda. The water is aquamarine, the sky a brilliant blue and the island is blanketed in lush greenery. I pedal past waving locals, marvel at their beachside shacks, and am humbled by the innocence of young children as I observe their good-natured banter.
I pass some boys, not quite young men, walking home barefoot. One is carrying a chicken and the other lad is lugging a simple fishing rod and bucket. I assume they have successfully taken care of dinner for tonight.
Suddenly, I long to live in a place where children are free and safe to roam with such innocence; a place where young boys and girls are perfectly capable of catching dinner, and surviving a whole day without some kind of electronic device.
Visitors come to this beautiful island and mostly see just luxury resorts, but behind the scenes is a wonderfully self-sufficient community. Do they see it this way? Do they know this is heaven on earth?
Words can’t describe how beautiful Bora Bora really is. What I can assure you is that the postcards are not a lie. I know before I have to leave that I have been “cursed” by Bora Bora. A curse because no other destination will compare, including my own home.
I’m not talking about luxury, as that can be bought anywhere. I’m talking about the breathtaking way the lagoon flitters between shades of aquamarine and deep blue, colours I didn’t know could be so bright and rich, and the way the prehistoric volcano rises dramatically out of the sea and is surrounded by jungle.
I’m talking about breathing in fresh air untainted by pollution, and the white surf that is thrown up on the horizon where the force of the ocean meets the calm lagoon.
Yes, Bora Bora is a beautiful curse, forever calling my name.