Cycling around Bora Bora

When I read that the circumference of the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora was only 32 kilometers, I decided that I must rent a bike and slowly make my way the whole way around.

This would take me past famous Matira Beach, through the touristy east coast and along the deserted northeast coast with its coconut plantations and thousands of holes made by land crabs.

The local car rental agency provided me with a bike for the day for $19 and I was off. Here are some views of the lightly traveled road:

Located 230 kilometers northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora consists of a high center completely surrounded by a lagoon enclosed by a coral reef. Standing in the center are volcanic remains which make up two mountains: Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia:

Some views of the coast:

A close look at the coral sand:

Some buildings:

Some botany:

In the tropics, bananas grow almost as weeds. Here is the enclosed flower:

and the fruit:

At one point, I saw a few sleeping dogs and thought that this would make a good photo. However when I stopped, the dogs sprang to action and 4 or 5 others appeared from nowhere to bark and nip at my feet. Fortunately I was able to hop quickly onto my bike and make an escape with a pack of howlers behind me. This must be why I spotted this sign:

“beware of bad-tempered dogs”

Many of the shorebirds found in the South Sea Islands are also seen in the northern hemisphere. For example: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, Black-bellied and Golden Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semi-palmated Plover and Ruff.

Here is a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and a Ruff:

black morph Pacific Reef Heron:

Black-bellied plover:

and a Feral Chicken. These birds were brought to the islands by the original settlers from Asia thousands of years ago.

Island map:

Miles Hearn

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