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Nov
07

Up the highest mountain of Tubuai

Yesterday it was sunny, so we kicked ourselves to some activity even though we were still tired from the passage–you never know how long the nice weather will last in the Australs…
We went to the mayor’s office, didn’t get a map, but some vague advice about hiking tracks. We hitched a ride along the cross-island road–after friendly Rurutu we were surprised how many cars passed by before one stopped for us. The women set us off at the beginning of the dirtroad to Taitaa, the highest mountain.
It turned out that the trail was well-marked, because there will be a sports event in about two weeks here: the Lychee run criss-crosses all over the island and we only had to follow the red arrows up the ridge. At some point we heard a noisy engine behind us and prepared to hop into the ditch next to the narrow trail. When the source of the noise eventually turned up slowly it turned out to be a community tractor with a mowing trailer making the trail even smother for the runners. The driver invited us up, we hopped on the mud guard wings, jiggled and joggled slowly up the mountain holding on for dear life.

The driver set us off where the trail becomes a footpath and we hiked up another steep slope to the highest peak of Tubuai where large boulders are piled up precariously–looking along the ridge we were more than grateful for the ride. We descended according to the instructions of the community worker down the other side of the mountain where the trail leads down almost vertically–those runners will have to be incredible athletes to make it up there…

We got back to Pitufa after more than 4 hours of hiking. This morning it was overcast, the peak invisible in a cloud and we were happy we had done the hike with blue skies. Carpe diem!

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