Hiking with surprise effect

Hiking with surprise effect

After finishing the watermaker project (we produce potable water again!!), we did some more hiking on Moorea. There are many paths all over the island, clearly marked, well kept, but lacking one essential feature: signs that reveal the destination of a path. The descriptions in the tourist brochure are also vague and we suspect that tourists are encouraged to do something for the economy and hire a guide… We rather explore without paid company, even though that’s a bit risky. Yesterday we walked up to the Belvedere again and then into a path on the right. It took us down into the valley and then steeply up to the ridge of the mountain chain which is the remainder of a huge caldera all over the island. We got an impressive view of the northern and southern coast with the fringing reef. Up there, a sign informed us that we were at the 3 coconut’s pass. Hmm, a pass? That should mean that continuing down the other side of the ridge would take us to the southern coast. Right? We gambled and walked down the steep path always fearing that it could lead to yet another ascent instead, but we were lucky and reached the south coast through a wonderfully lush valley with several streams and waterfalls.

The return way along the coastal road was 22 km, too far too walk and it seems no buses run around the island that direction (just to the ferry terminal in the east), so we just stuck out our thumbs, hoping to catch a ride as quickly as on other Polynesian islands. But despite the heavy traffic nobody stopped. White faces, local faces, all staring at us, most alone in the car, but none of them interested in helping a tourist out. After almost an hour a little car stopped. The retired schoolteacher was sad to hear about her unfriendly fellow islanders, told us about the school system (there’s 7 primary schools, older pupils take the ferry to Tahiti at 4 o’clock in the morning and get back in the evening) and took us all the way back to Opunohu, despite the fact that she lived on the other side of the island. So we were lucky in the end :-)

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