After the last ferry of the day leaves, taking with it the last of the sunburned and weary-limbed day trippers, life on the tiny island of La Digue returns to normal.

The locals emerge from seemingly nowhere to go about their daily lives – running a few errands, standing on corners gossiping, laughing, joking … and riding their bikes.

Cycling is the preferred way of getting around the island. Everyone has one. And they all see to have a basket either at the front or on the back.

There are a few flatbed trucks, but they have been converted to ferry tourists from the dock out to the beach at Anse Source d’Argent and back. The island is only 10.08 square kilometres big, so a bike is all you need.

When it rains, as it always does – in a short, angry burst – the locals simply pull out an umbrella, riding along with it balanced dextrously on their shoulder.

The next day, when the ferries and the day trippers arrive again, the locals drift back into their homes, taking their bikes with them.

Or they rent them to the tourists who take over the sandy roads until the last ferry leaves again.