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Raid Anei

The Raid Anei is an eagerly awaited event. It takes place in the mountains above Point Matira along a ridge line that offers a spectacular bird’s eye view. It shows why Bora Bora is regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

The first climb took raiders steeply to a lookout known to the Tahitans as Puhonu (pa meaning fortress, honu meaning turtle) from where the following photos were taken.

In times gone by when Bora Borians were fierce warriors and the island was divided between 8 kingdoms, these vantage spots were greatly prized. Honu the sacred animal of royalty, shows the importance of this site and the military significance of which is readily apparent to anyone making the climb.


The course started at the legendary Bloody Mary’s. It did not go unnoticed that among the many rich and famous that have dined there were many prominent athletes, including Bubba Watson, Mark Richards, Roger Craig, Tracey Murray, Greg Jacobs, Phil Jackson.


Amongst those present were those who had moored their more than impressive super-yacht off Bloody Mary’s long jetty. The 78.4m “TV” (formerly Madsummer), the world’s 99th biggest boat is for sale fo just 130 million euros.

Huge yacht

Almost 300 were present for the Mayoral race start. Don’t you just love the guys in sports events who are capable of leading from start to finish.

Mayoral race start

Several hundred participants eased out of the start, ready for the test that lay ahead.


As in all events in Bora Bora, there is always an element of fun in the competition; always flowers.

Flower hats

After a dash out to the Hotel Bora Bora & around the bunya tree the raiders started the ascent up the mountainside to the peaks around Rufau.

Today’s race would take them between the transmission towers across the ridge-line above Matira. Then further atop Bora Bora to literally the foot of Mt Otemanu. It followed down through Anau before a final traverse of the range to reach the finish at Vaitape.

Ahead was an outing of some 18km, offering a variety of conditions. A good intermittent mix of strenuous effort to ascend and skillful know-how to descend.

The footing was moist following recent rains and at times, slippery. The rains also ensured the humidity pushed transpiration to the max! The overcast conditions, however, made for pleasant running conditions.

Rope descent

Steeeeeep roped descent.

More Rope descent

One climbs slowly but surely to reach a pinnacle that sits majestically atop the ridge-line mid-way between the towers. The climb can be arduous at times but the reward is views in all directions that are quite breathtaking.

The views from the track along the ridgeline are nothing short of sensational offering a myriad of outlook points capable of stopping even the most ardent of competitors in their tracks simply to take in the stunning panorama.

Panorama views

The panorama is 360 degrees, striking in every direction. It takes in Point Matira, the major resort east of Matira, and across to Raiatea.

Also, upwards to the omnipresent Mt Otemanu & across the waters to Teavanui Pass, Vaitape and Mt Otemanu.

Views from the race

The next assault – Mata Pupu – a prominent landmark piercing 235m into the sky, which to reach involves a hike that is always upwards.

This is how it looked to those taking the route – Mata Pupu in the foreground with Mt Otemanu overlooking matters.

The track itself is interesting, stimulating & challenging and you can see the ridgeline to be followed in the first shot.

Mata Pupu
Mata Pupu 2
Ground track

These raids are more, in fact than a good physical hit-out amidst outstanding scenery. They can also offer the opportunity to gain an insight into the rich cultural heritage of these people through reflection. For example, the names given to landmarks by the ancestors of this island’s people.

We were atop Mata Pupu the sharply pointed, cone-shaped mountain piercing the skies above Povaie Bay.  A common usage of the word mata is to signify a face, the face of things. Pupu commonly refers to a gathering (of personages).

Take a look at the following photos taken during the hike.

Atop Mata Pupu
Rock on Mata Pupu

Could the gathering refer to the faces of stones with an uncanny resemblance to tikis?

Could the eye be referring to the eye of the tikis keeping a watchful look over Raiatea, Tahaa, and Huahine as a means of protection in days gone by for Bora Bora against any planned raids?

Watchful overlook

Success in the ascent promised an exceptional panorama for anyone ready to make the climb. Raiders would not be disappointed as these images attest. The camera lies, as you can actually see Raiatea, Tahaa and Huahine in the background.

Views of different islands
More Views of different islands

Without moving, you only need to turn your head 180 degrees to see the whole of Povaie Bay & Vaitape with Motu Tapu & Teavanui Pass and even Maupiti in the distance. It’s simply sensational.

Povaie Bay

A closer look at Motu Tapu & Maupiti.

Motu Tapu & Maupiti.

Of course, the over-water bungalows of some of the world’s leading Resorts are not forgotten, here is a long-distance sweep of them all.

Bungalows in distance
More Bungalows in distance

Here’s a place little known to locals & tourists alike. So much so that even property agents market it under different names!

Villa One, or Alokilani was rented by Lindsay Lohan at reportedly almost $110,000 per week. Come on, you can find it advertised for rent on the web at less than $1000 per day!

Villa One

One can linger here for hours. As the sun moves across the skies, you’ll stare in disbelief at the artistry that nature, in all her generosity, has offered in abundance to Bora Bora. Perhaps this explains in part why only 67 of the 116 teams entered would complete the course with the winners home in 2h 50m 42s.

This was sufficiently challenging for competition-minded participants, yet permitting those wishing to travel at an easier pace an overview of some of the world’s best scenery.

This is a truly exceptional outing. There are endless breathtaking views from every angle.

The adrenalin hit that comes from tracking on a thin ridgeline with steep falls on either side and the exhilaration that flows when all that’s between you & heaven is the odd helicopter.

There is surely no better island or oceanside hike on earth!