A Trip from St. Regis to Bora Bora
The passenger boat from the St. Regis to Bora Bora leaves for the mainland base on Bora Bora twice in the morning. We read this in the literature left in our room. They also provided us with an entire schedule that showed us the time of the stops at Matira Beach and Vaitape for our return trip. We trusted this information, especially since the passenger boat left the dock from the St. Regis at the time scheduled. Little did it dawn on us to verify the return time. Because we had the schedule. The official schedule.
Because of our limited French, it is sometimes difficult for us to carry on a conversation with a person who can speak two or more languages while we can speak only one language, and we probably don’t do a very good job at that in their eyes. You know what the French think. Our taste in music sucks, we have no fashion sense, and we wouldn’t know a good truffle if we ran into it sideways.
The other night at dinner our waitress was explaining the rolls. We have seeded, raisin and nut, and white, she said. What? She repeated the choices. I questioned, “Raisin and nut?” Plop. She put the raisin and nut bread on my plate. I did not want raisin and nut. She obviously did not want to discuss what raisin and nut bread was doing filling up a spot in our bread basket that could have been occupied by sourdough or wheat. But what do I know? I am an American, and from California, no less.
There is not a lot to do in Matira Beach except eat, swim and watch pregnant dogs drop massive amounts of steaming poop on the beach. In Vaitape, you try to stay out of the street and avoid getting runover. Vaitape has a lovely grocery store, Chin Lee, which is owned by a woman. She plays very loud music right by the lottery tickets. I don’t know how that loud loud music helps to sell lottery tickets but I suspect it does. It makes people dance down the aisle, even people searching desperately for dried prunes.
Bloody Mary’s, that popular tourist spot, is closed for renovation. We bought a few postcards, walked around Vaitape for a while and then grabbed a taxi for Matira. Matira Beach is billed as one of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in the world. It’s a public beach. The view is spectacular.
We sat at the spot designated in our literature at the Intercontinental Hotel, which at one time was probably the Matira Hotel from the sign out on the road. No bus came. The appointed time came and went. The staff at the Intercontinental called the St. Regis for us and then assured us the bus would come. Where have I heard this type of empty promise before? My mind was clicking through my memory banks. Oh, yes, I know why this sounds familiar. This is like when a short sale bank negotiator says the file will be approved after we submit one more HUD with one tiny little change. Yeah, right.
I’ve got a bus schedule I’d like to give you from the St. Regis to Bora Bora.
The bus did not come. When we were 5 minutes from the boat departure back to the island, we called our butler, Konstantin. He came to the rescue. I will send you a cab, he says. The vehicle that arrived appeared to be driven by somebody’s aunt, but we did not care at that point. When we got back to our hotel room, Konstantin had had delivered a bottle of champagne on ice. Next time, he says, before you venture away, check with me. Yes, Konstantin. We will. It would be awful to have to spend the night at the Intercontinental. They have horrible beach chairs and no tips on their pool cues!