Tahiti - the path less traveled
|Caroline in Papeete, French Polynesia, at sunset. The island of Moorea is on the horizon.|
We never got there. Or, if we did, we walked right past it without noticing.
First things first. We read that hikers needed to obtain a permit to travel to the waterfall. Okay, our first adventure was locating city hall, which wasn't too difficult. Finding the proper office to get a permit was a bit trickier, in that we spoke and read no French. Caroline ducked inside an office labeled something like "Bureau des élections" which we knew wasn't the right office, but we were hoping we would get pointed in the right direction. A kind man took pity on us and walked us to the other side of the building, where we found ourselves trying to make our needs for a permit known. It worked! Six dollars per person got us a permit to the falls, and advice to take a left, another left, and then show our permit to the driver on Bus 27.
|Otto Dude... look at that photo of our bus driver above again! Even the clothes match!|
|Note the third sign down... the way to Fautaua.|
The boulder-strewn Fautaua River flowed alongside the trail, with many 1-2 feet waterfalls along the way. The scenery was gorgeous.
After a bit more than 3 miles, the road petered out. In hindsight, I think we were supposed to cross a bridge that looked washed out, but since the road kept going for a short distance, we went straight.
|We posed on this bridge, but we failed to hike the trail at the other end. In my defense, it is hard to see a trail on the other end. I think this trail leads to the falls.|
|This is as far as we got!|
In about 5 minutes, he had taken us through 1 house into the backyard, which provided us with a view of Moorea, the airport, the harbor, 2 guys repairing a kayak, and a friendly dog. Then he walked us to another house which contained - I kid you not - more than a thousand potted plants of many kinds, from orchids to hanging mosses to who knows what types of flowers. I couldn't tell whether this collection was for sell or just a hobby. And there was another great view of Moorea.
|Carla in the plant nursery.|
|Another view of the plant nursery.|
Not bad for a side street!
|Parrotfish for sale in market.|
|Large spider in restroom. Loiter at your own peril!|
|Dead rat seen along waterfront walk.|
|One of 3 cats seen along waterfront. I didn't notice any rat bait stations. Perhaps the locals depend on cats for rodent control.|
|A fenced arena for soccer. Is playing soccer on sand a new thing?|
|Caroline and Carla, on the Papeete waterfront.|
|Even in Papeete, Coke claims to make life fun!|