Bicycle travelling Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora
261 km of cycling - as part of a bicycle world trip - across Tahiti, French Polynesia´s main island, then by cargo ship to Bora Bora Island, there by bike two times around the island, by cargo ship back to Tahiti and by boat to Moorea Island, again two times around the island by bike, by boat back to Papeete on Tahiti.
10 - 18 June 2006 / 9 days
2,255 metres in altitude
Highest cycled point: 253 m
Unfortunately no travel report in English available yet. Below the German report translated by Google Translate. Sorry for the partly weird and bizarre English! Proper translation is coming within the year 2018!
After a night at the airport in Sydney, I climbed into the plane of Air Tahiti Nui, which was something special given the name of the airline! In addition, I was ready for the first time travel of my life, because I started Sunday morning and landed on the eve, on Saturday evening, on Tahiti! Stop only if you cross the date line from west to east.
Once again, the night from Saturday to Sunday was on the program. This time it was Papeete Airport on Tahiti where I spent it. After I had in the morning my two boxes, one for the bike and one for the luggage, for the total of about 34 euros (and that was already a with my most convincing smile and the first chunks of French negotiated special price!) At the luggage storage had cycled the few miles into the center to one of the rare sown semi-affordable hostels. Once there, the first really major material damage on the bike hit me on this tour: The rear rim was broken in the braking sidewall, it was hardly possible to brake and it would not take long to push myself. With Tahiti, of course, the rim had chosen a particularly exquisite place to put an end to their lives, even if they have something to protect them. Because it was probably the sand of the Mereenie Loops in Australia, which had to be blamed. But it did not help, the tour around Tahiti was blown off and rims were on the program. But despite the very precarious situation, I said to myself "optimism is everything" and ran the next morning, before any bike shop had opened, to the cargo port and organized and paid a place on the cargo ship Vaeanu, which in the afternoon in the direction of Bora Bora leak should!
Luckily there were a few bike shops, even though they were mostly Asian. So frighteningly cheap bicycles at hardware store level, neatly lined up between lawn mowers, diesel gensets and other machines unknown to me. Of course, nobody had a 36-hole rim and a 9-fold hub certainly not, so I could not take a 32-hole rim, so that everything looked very suspicious after a major disaster. Not only that I would not be able to take the freighter at 4:00 pm, even to the airport, I could hardly push my bike in seven days. But when I entered the xth store rather resignedly, a tiny catacomb, but without a lawnmower, I saw the owner in the corner spoking a wheel and a small little spark of hope rose in me! And lo and behold, there seemed to be a little lucky star that seemed to me: out of a row of only five rims hanging on the wall, he pulled out one, started to count, and when he was not finished at 32, I would be on it I liked it best with a thick "bisous" around my neck, but I was just able to control myself. Two hours later I was able to pick up the downhill rim newly spoked with my spokes and my hub and a short time later I was on the high seas, on the way to paradise, to Bora Bora, the synonym for the ultimate South Sea dream destination!
After more than 17 hours we drove through the only passage in the turquoise lagoon that surrounded the green and densely wooded island of Bora Bora. Fortunately, there was a place to camp for about 10 euros with the Polynesians Aldo and his wife, who welcomed me as the only guest friendly. Given her need for communication, the last guest seemed to have left quite some time ago ... I stayed for two days and nights, cooking with Aldo's wife, cycling around the island twice and experiencing Polynesian village life. Quite different than probably the most visitors to the island who spent up to 10,000 euros (per night mind you!) For one of the luxury over-water bungalows. These were mostly on one of the coral islands that formed the lagoon ring around the island. Since Bora Bora was one of the few places on earth where you could dive with the majestic, huge Manta Rays, of course I did not let myself get lazy and treat myself to a dive! Unfortunately, we saw no manta rays, but I dived with countless smaller blacktip sharks and some huge lemon sharks that, larger than us, swam around us in the crystal clear waters next to giant tortoises.
No one had eaten me and the strike with blockade of the refinery and gas station for ships on Tahiti probably had to be started only a few hours after the Vaeanu had fueled, because she arrived on schedule on the next morning on Bora Bora. I sent a thousand Merci calls (some in Tahitian: Maururu ...) to my little lucky star, who had saved me from having to take a wickedly expensive flight back from Bora Bora to Tahiti!
Back in Papeete at night, I waited a few hours for the first ferry to the nearby island of Moorea, where fortunately I could camp as well. I spent two days bicycling, lying and relaxing in the sun, was invited to Tahitian food, and let time pass before heading back to the airport on Tahiti.
After disassembling, padding and packing the boxes and checking in both cartons, I boarded the machine from LAN Chile Airlines at 1.00 am for my long journey east, to the most remote place on earth! It had been a nice, but too expensive and too short time in French Polynesia! Au revoir - le paradis!