October 17, 1999
The islands were just like I imagined from seeing "South Pacific" as a 14-year-old. They're romantic because they don't feel overly civilized, yet you don't have to worry about drinking the water. My wife, Betty, and I went into the interior jungle and saw giant orchids and rubber trees. The topography is so ancient. You feel like you're at the beginning and the end of everything. DISCOVERY: We visited a vanilla bean plantation and learned how it is grown.
February 7, 1999 |
It's 7 a.m., and from outside our cabin we can see the peak of a small mountain looming in the distance. Our ship glides effortlessly over the deep blue water, a salty mist lightly enveloping our senses. Soon the green mountain's craggy features come clearly into view, becoming recognizable as Mt. Pahia, the defining geographical feature of the French Polynesian island of Bora-Bora. I briefly imagine that it's 1769, and Capt.
November 16, 1997 |
One afternoon not long ago, my wife and I were coming out of the Caprice des Iles, a pleasant, casual island restaurant, after lunch on the veranda. The blue South Pacific was twinkling under a gentle breeze. The sun was so bright, the air so humid, the hills so green and overgrown that photosynthesis threatened to become audible. Amid this seeming paradise, our waiter sidled over to me like a racetrack tout and said in suave, French-accented English: "We have live music tonight. American girl.
October 18, 1992
Jerry Hulse's "Tahiti, the Temptress" (Sept. 6) recalled memories of our three weeks' visit there in 1966 when we explored Tahiti, spent a week on Moorea with the Bali Hai Boys, then a week at their place in Raitea, followed by a final week at the glorious Hotel Bora Bora. I can appreciate Michener's enthusiasm for beautiful Bora Bora, but I, too, prefer Moorea. FRANK ALEXANDER Rancho Palos Verdes
September 6, 1992 |
Move over, James Michener, while I weave a tale of my own return to the South Pacific--a tale that involves nomads and islands and myna birds that sing me awake here each soft and sunlit morning. I awoke this new day at Chez Pauline, a nondescript pension facing Bora Bora's lovely lagoon. Lying in bed, I studied the room: four walls, a door and a sheet snapping at the window. A sheet, mind you, not a curtain. There was nothing more. No closet. Not even a chair.
March 17, 1991 |
Exotic tropical forests, mysterious caves, waterfalls and ancient stone ruins--these are some of the delights of trekking Tahiti and Moorea, two islands in French Polynesia with some terrific pathways. True, few visitors think of pathways when they think of Polynesia, but Tahiti and its neighbor isle of Moorea have some good mountain hikes to complement their stunning beaches. Characteristic of Polynesia, these islands have jagged volcanic formations, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls.