Austral Islands/Tubuai: Exploring the Island
Quick 1/2 hour flight and I am on the next Austral Island – Tubuai. This island is about half the size of Rurutu, but almost triple in population. The island was inhabited by Polynesians for over 2000 years, but the first mention by Europeans was in 1777, when Captain Cook described it without actually stepping foot on it. 12 years later, the Bounty mutineers sailed here from Tahiti and tried to establish a settlement and built a small Fort George. Bloody conflict with local erupted soon thereafter as Bounty guys tried to forcefully get more wives from local population (apparently getting wifes was the whole idea of the Bounty mutiny), but locals didn’t find this as a particularly good idea. European settlers were soon expelled and had to sail to Pitcairn. But back to Tubuai – the Island has two volcanic mountain peaks in the middle and a couple small islets (motu) around. But overall, it’s not that beautiful and clearly a bit crowded (by Polynesian standard). So one day was enough to circumnavigate and explore by car and by bicycle.