We woke up early on our last morning in Bora, had breakfast, and then swam outside our bungalow until it was nearly time to check out. Checkout was at 11, but our flight wasn’t out until 7, so we had some time to kill. The resort allows you to utilize their amenities until you leave, and they have shower rooms that can be used so you can wash the beach off before the long haul home. They also had an option to rent one of the beach bungalows for the day at a lower cost, and we were fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of that. We had a good staging area to repack any suitcases necessary, an air conditioned bathroom with shower at our disposal, and–most importantly–beach front with chairs and shade for enjoying the rest of the day.
After our move, we had one last Bora Bora cocktail before swimming out to the coral nursery on property for a little snorkeling. The snorkeling you can do right there is pretty good, especially considering you don’t need to swim far or arrange a tour to snorkel there. Mom had some leftover fish food, so we carried that over to the garden and really got a large crowd.
As the hours ticked by, my sense of dread increased. I said that this was the place I dreaded leaving more than any other place I’ve ever been. I LOVE the water in Bora Bora–so clear and so ridiculously warm that you don’t have to brace yourself when you wade in. I spent most of the last day floating for that reason. My fingers were pruney, and my hair was salty, but I didn’t care. Tim had to basically drag me out of the water when it was time to get ready to leave.
The waters around Bora Bora provided my favorite ocean experience I’ve ever had. The beach is where I feel happiest, and I typically feel enthusiastic about all my experiences, but there is something different here. I’ve been to some beautiful beaches (some rated at the top of travel lists for their beauty), and maybe this beach wouldn’t make that list–the beach isn’t fine white sand, and it could get a little rocky, but THE WATER. Geesh. It’s awesome. We’re now on a mission to see if we can find similar ocean conditions a little closer to home (so we can book a trip pronto!!).
I felt like I was leaving lines in the sand from the heels I tried to dig in so deep. I wanted time to stop, but time stops for no one. Tim shouted “Walking the mile! Walking the mile!” as I walked from the bungalow to the dock to catch our water taxi back to the airport. I walked slowly and tried to commit every last detail to memory. I told Tim that I would create a memory image of him standing in the water with the palm trees behind him so that when we got home, I could just look at him and pull that memory back.
We had a long wait at Papeete International Airport once we got there–an insult to my beach-loving heart made worse by the heat in the airport. Like other tropical destinations, the airport is a bit open-air, with ceiling fans rotating almost futilely. An occasion breeze from one would reach us, almost as a tease. I was glad I remembered the heat there and had worn a tank top and shorts on our flight from Bora Bora to Papeete. I knew I would have to put on more coverage for the flight to LA, or I would freeze. I tried to wait until the last possible moment to put on my leggings and baseball tee–but delays in boarding meant I still had them on too long and was sweating profusely by the time we boarded. Not the way you want to start 20+ hours of traveling, right? I just tried to think cool thoughts and look forward to getting on the air conditioned plane.
Three weeks have come and gone, seemingly in a blink. For some reason, our last three week trip seemed to go by more slowly, but I’m certain it probably felt just as short when we got home the last time–I’ve just forgotten.
Two layovers later, and we were back where we started, collecting our bags and trading out the doors into the real world. But the wonderful thing about it all is that, though the real world must come, we have such shining and gorgeous memories to carry us through to the next adventure. (And we have a sweet puppy whom we’ve missed–his joy at our homecoming made coming home worth it.)
That’s a wrap on yet another adventure!