(Marina Taina Anchorage, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia)
Today the boys on Kuhela extended an invite to tour Tahiti with them in their rental car. An opportunity we jumped at. In a few short hours we circumnavigated the 114km of Tahiti Nui – the larger of the two connected, circular land masses that make up Tahiti proper.
After an informative and entertaining stop at the Tourist Centre in Papeete, we did as we were told and headed up to Belvedere lookout point to take a selfie. The road up was more than questionable – on a directional level as well as its capacity to even call itself a driving surface – though that didn’t stop Josh and his Nascar driving abilities. Once we did arrive safely at the top the trip was totally worth it. The view of the city and harbour below was stunning.
Back on the road we made a lunch stop at the local grocery store, Champion, and enjoyed an impromptu picnic on a roadside, black-sand beach. With full bellies we continued on to Les Trois Cascades. Which my meager French language skills were adequate enough to tell me there’d be three waterfalls awaiting our arrival!
Like so many natural wonders here in French Polynesia, there was a fanciful and charming story to explain the presence of this trifecta of waterfalls. The story was something like – there was a beautiful Polynesian princess fiercely protected by her ruling father. He had two bodyguards watch over her at all times. Once though, she was able to sneak away long enough to find her true love and they ran away together into the forest. Alas their love was not meant to last and the body guards were forever punished for their break in duties. The first large waterfall you come to is meant to be the two body guards, while the twin falls farther up the path are the star-crossed lovers forever entombed by their forbidden love. Or so the story goes…
When we were done at the waterfalls we completed the loop around the island. The views up into the soaring mountains were stunning. To our right waterfalls dramatically cascaded down to seemingly unreachable bases, while on our left the swell continually crashed on the outer reef. We even ran into people we knew when we came across Matt and Kate from Tamata hiking in to their nearest grocery store.
All in all it was a spectacular day and we’re glad we gave Tahiti a peak from the other side of the coin.