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Bicycles and Scooters - Perfect!
I had wanted to rent a scooter for our trip around the island but the company I contacted did not have any for rent, only cars and bicycles. Having seen the rates for cars, I chose the sporty option.
There are companies, however, that have scooters for hire – and this BTW is the means of transport most locals use.
You could try Fare Piti Rent-a-Car. They saw that they have an office in Vaitape but when we arrived it was closed.
Their scooters cost from 3200 to 5400 CFP, depending on how long you want to rent them. They also have bicycles.
Our bicycles we got from Avis cost 1800 (16 Euro) each for 8 hours.
They are basic one gear bicycles with very high handlebars. You do not really need more gears, especially if you cycle clockwise. There are only two short uphill sections. I got up on one but had to push the bike on the other one. The other way round the uphill sections are much longer. The advantage of cycling counter-clockwise is that you do not have to cross the road to admire and photograph the sea views.
I would not say the bikes were especially well maintained. The chain would have enjoyed some oil. On the other hand, when the chain of my bike jumped from the sprocket shortly before the end of our tour, my hands did not get very dirty when I needed several attempts to move it back on ;-)
The road service was good. When hubby’s bike had a flat tyre and we called at the Avis office, they sent out someone with a choice of two bikes on the tray of a SUV. That he did not find us first, and not after our second call either, was a different story… (Well, it is always a problem if you call at an office, and they then call the garage and forward what was said.)
My advice for such a case:
Talk to a local in the next garden immediately. They can give a very exact location.
Read the story of our cycling tour here. (Sorry, tip and link have disappeared... :-((((
We booked the bikes via the Bora Bora Activity Desk:
The direct contact would be:
Phone 67 70 03
Fax 67 79 95
We did not have to pay any deposit or even the full price in advance, as you would have to in the case of renting a car, but we got a reservation number, and everything went straight forward. Just the lady in the office, smoking like a volcano shortly before the eruption, was not really helpful. Had I not had a reservation and seen other competitors closeby I would have left…
It took her several minutes to say Hello although there was nobody else in the office (shed…), and seemed to be unhappy to interrupt her meditation time by customers.
She only gave us a lock for the bikes, we had to ask for tools to adjust the height of the saddle. There was not even a bicycle pump available, so we had to choose the bikes with enough air in the tyres… A dreadful reception!
Rates (high and low season identical) were:
2 hours 1400 (12 Euro)
4 hours 1600 (14)
8 hours 1800 (16)
24 hours 2000 (18)
I have seen that they have gone up in the meantime, prices on the internet are now (July 2009):
1450 – 1760 – 1980 – 2200 CFP.
For a week it would cost you 12,980 CFP.
BTW Some guesthouses and pensions give the bikes for free to their guests.
Update Dec. 2012
I have been back to Bora Bora in the meantime, and bicycles (including electric ones) are now available at far more locations than previously. At Matira point you can rent a bicycle at the supermarket (grocery store...) and at the Maitai hotel.
Go Biking around the island
The very shape of the island of Bora Bora lends itself perfectly to a fun biking trip. We rented bikes and rode all the way around the island (20 miles), stopping in the centre ville (Viatape) for some shopping on the way. It was great fun. Just make sure to wear sun block or you'll get scorched and won't even know it.
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