Brittany and I recently got back from a way-too-short 7 night vacation in Bora Bora. We spent 1 night at the Intercontinental Le Moana and 6 nights at the Intercontinental Thalasso Resort and Spa. The IC Le Moana is on the main island of Bora Bora, meaning you have easy access to grocery stores and other food options. The IC Thalasso, on the other hand, is on a small motu that does not have easy access to anything. They do, however, offer a shuttle between the two hotels if you wish to leave the IC Thalasso and go to the main land.
We decided to make the trip twice and found there are two ways for this shuttle to be free.
- Take the 2:15 PM or earlier shuttle – The hotel offers the shuttle for free if you take the 2:15 PM or earlier shuttle. Food is very expensive in Bora Bora. To save some money, we brought a lot of food to Bora Bora. We wanted to pick up a few more items at the grocery store. We had planned to go to the grocery store right down the road from the IC Le Moana before we went to the Thalasso, but the day we left the IC Le Moana for the IC Thalasso was a Sunday and the grocery store closed at 11 AM, which we did not know. So a few days after getting to the IC Thalasso, we took the shuttle to grab a few things at the store.
- Have your boat break – We were in Bora Bora during Thanksgiving and decided we wanted to have a “Thanksgiving” dinner at the “World Famous” Bloody Mary’s. We decided it was worth it to take the shuttle at night even though there would be a cost. We ate our meal at Bloody Mary’s (review coming soon), headed back to the IC Le Moana, and got on the shuttle boat to go back to the IC Le Moana. About halfway through the ride, the boat started flashing red lights and a load beeping noise started blasting. A few seconds later, the boat was stopped. Our driver got out his cell phone and began calling people. A few minutes later, he opened up the engine compartment, took off his shirt, and got the anchor to throw in the water. The anchor did not seem to take hold. About 30 minutes later, we started washing up on the reef.
Finally we spotted another boat coming to help.
The boat was able to pull our boat out of the reef. Afterwards, the two drivers attached the boats together with some rope so that the two boats were side by side and we were off back to the hotel (so we thought).
We then noticed that we were not heading to the hotel. We were heading to the mainland! Eventually we got to a dock, and a bunch of Polynesian men came running down onto the dock and one of them asked us to get out and move to another boat. Annnnnnnnnd boat #3 is the winner!
Once everyone was inside the new boat, we started the journey back to the IC Thalasso. The same guy who was originally driving our boat was still our driver. The most bizarre thing was that during this entire ordeal he never said a word to any of us (there was 10 of us on board). The only time we were ever spoken to was when we were at the dock and one of the guys who came to the dock asked us to get in the new boat. This may have been because our driver didn’t speak English; we weren’t sure. The journey usually takes about 20 minutes, but in this case it took us about 1.5 hours!
At checkout, we saw that we were still charged for the boat transfer and simply mentioned that we were on the boat that broke; without asking for any more details, the woman checking us out removed the charge. We did not even ask for the charge to be removed. All in all, I was happy – I got an interesting experience and saved some money in the process!
Just wanted to share a funny experience of our trip. More details of the trip will come in later posts.