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This page, Bora Bora 1 - arriving, landing

Charms of Bora Bora ("Pora Pora") were recognized only tardily, after those of Huahine, more larger and which was considered, at old times, like the heart of Polynesia, with Raiatea "the sacred" ( because of the Oro god who radiated there. (see Polynesia).

270 km from Tahiti (45 mn flight)
Bora postcard
If the lagoon of Bora Bora is not largest in surface, it must be that which offers the most interstitial water, in spite of a significant chocking with sand, because the island is among smallest.
See "lagoons formation".

A satellite shot from Alain, a helpful guy.

Frangipani Flowers

Arriving fromTahiti, one flight round the lagoon by the east coast, following then the motus of the northern reef barrier. These islets are at the place of the former coast of the island, at a time when, just created a hundreds km south-east, she started both tracing its way and sinking to the today place. Madreporea, settled since the beginning along the shore, had to build without failure to compensate the water elevation, looking the mount shrinking and the cost going away. They form now a giant cup laying on the drowned hillsides of the mount, still fighting against their fate.

Color of the weather. The weather is a South Pacific weather, sun, more or less clouds, showers, sun, cloud coverage, bright spells.. but hot, so you don't need to bother for your sweat. We are in October and  the rainy season is approaching.

Arriving to Bora Bora

Some comments?

NO, one looks at and keep silent.

The motu MUTE we are going to land is in the background. The runway is in red

ATR 42 or 72 (franco italien) Some Polynesian language, for curiosity only : do you know the word MANUREVA ? see"WORDS.

Too big aircrafts, don't even think at it.
We are on board of an ATR 42, a French-italiano bi-propellered aircraft.

It is always shaking a bit before landind.. and after landing too, because the runway was not perfect here, at that time. On left hand, on can see a pontoon. The small airport is amid coconut trees.

It is now necessary to take a boat to reach Vaitape ("va-e-ta-pe" "ta-pe" somehow like tape-stry)

brochure/carte postale (runcated sight: magnify it), it is worthwhile looking at the scenery.
A beautiful spectacle,among lots of them, if the weather is fine. Sand banks and small coral islands (motus) of this large lagoon have an insane charm. " best motus are inhabited (hotels or celebrities). Of which that bought by Paul Emile Victor, deceased in 1995 where one finds also a small lodging MOTU (coral small island): an appearance between sky and sea.


shots from an old numerical camcorder, don't expect any technical quality. Better think at authenticity, feeling, emotion.

Unloading dock at Vaitape.

 There is a quite beautiful vegetation along the coast but the slopes of the mountain are sometimes less attractive, especially when they were devastated by the last cyclone in certain places (as in Tahiti).

There are the small islands and the coconuts of course, but also a beautiful vegetation in the properties which border the edge of the sea, limited side road by small hedges of exotic plants with broad sheets (nature sprinkles liberally, by here).

The fare ("farrré") is not any more what it used to be : it is now a house with terrace or balcony and roof of sheet iron of the "modern colonial style". One finds at his top one opening in triangle, symbol of those which were practised in the covers in palms of coconuts or sheets of pandanus.

One builds on the heights now, fault of ground but also against the floods at the time of the cyclones. All these houses are recent

The traditional fare required a very significant work, choice with the cut of wood, braiding and the final assembly; all that for less than two decades of lifespan.

High place of tourism..

One of the largest hotels is at the extreme point, and there one finds a little more animation than elsewhere.
A better view ? click it.
On the left, just above the dark volcanic basalts, the "fares" (houses) of some lucky people. On the right, other lucky devils. They had gone when we got down from the restaurant.
Two nasty surprises however arised : two odd insects which badgered us, and once in the water, the beach which ravelled quickly. I thus returned quickly from my bath.

Your attention please : the stream can be consequent . See "risks and dangers"
Here, I saw pass the beach slowly.

Small history experienced at the restaurant: "two raw fish please (*) .. then comes the very peaceful answer: "I don't have lemon anymore" ; how come you don't have lemon anymore, where does it come from, the lemon? : "from Tahiti " (.. 270km).
(*) raw fish

In fact, it was not the season of green lemons and we had to be satisfied with a mixed salad.
In large hotels there is perhaps permanently green lemon; but nothing is sure here and it is what makes the incomparable charm of the country.  See ia ota, please
Matira tip : small but very pleasant bungalow-"fare" to have a lunch, above the beach.
see also "prices"

listen the pace...   one really does not feel oneself too hustled by here. (MP2 130 ko)

 Bora Bora 2, island tour, life

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