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Bora Bora Bora Bora

I looked up and I saw the outline of the island. And I knew right away that there was the place I'd been looking for all of my life . . .


Bora Bora is a part of Tahiti which, with Moorea and a few other islands, is in the Society Islands. The Society Islands, in turn, are in French Polynesia. I spent most of the time windsurfing on the lagoon at Bora Bora, but one day bicycled all around the island (a whole thirty kilometres!) with a few friends.

Bora Bora Lagoon

Renting a bicycle is really the best way to see the island. You can go where you want, when you want, and you can stop anywhere you want. There are eight- or ten-person minibus tours, but when we saw the tourists cooped up sweating inside the bus, at the mercy of the driver blathering about the sights, we felt glad we had simply rented bicycles. An alternative to bicycles (which we emphatically do not recommend) are small Vespa-style motor scooters. They tend to be very unstable and prone to skid out from under you on (the many) gravel-paved roads.

We returned to Bora Bora in 2001. This picture was actually taken out of the window of the airplane as we came in for landing. I was amazed at how good it came out.

Bora Bora Lagoon from Airplane

Arrival on Bora Bora by air is a visual feast from start to finish. The airport is out on the reef, and you take a boat to the main town. In addition to the wonderful views as you come in for landing, the boat trip to town is about a thirty-minute passage across the lagoon.

Bora Bora Lagoon by Boat

Once again, we bicycled all around the island, and ate great food. One local dish was cold Octopus Salad; another adventure was Small Fish of the Lagoon, which you eat whole—heads, tails, bones, and everything. I ate fish pretty much every day, including breakfast.

Here's a picture of the lagoon from the top of the island, which you get to by taking a Jeep tour.

The Jeep tour is worth the time and money, as they take you to places inaccessible to the casual traveller.

As part of our Jeep tour, our driver took us to his family's fruit farm where we sampled various delicious tropical fruits.

Bora Bora Lagoon

One of the interesting spots on Bora Bora accessible only by Jeep are big gun emplacements put there by the United States Army during World War II, in anticipation of a potential Japanese invasion of the island.

Bora Bora Jeep Bora Bora Rusty Gun

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Page Updated 2011 December 10