Destination: Raiatea, French Polynesia
Date: July 2013
Activity: Hiking for waterfalls!
This area of the world is quite magical. Time seems to disappear without my even knowing it. From dawn until dusk I haven’t done much but the days go quickly. On the boat the hours are earlier than at home. We all seem to rise with the sun, or soon after, and we are just as likely to set with the sun as well. Being on the sea has created a different kind of traveler in me. I am much more dependent on the cycle of the sun moon and stars than I have ever been on any of my previous journeys.
Our recent stop in Raiatea was very short. We traveled four hours at about 8 knots from Huahine and arrived at about three thirty in the afternoon. We sailed all around the island looking for some sort of shelter from the wind but it was not to be. The wind has been pretty lethal After reading more in our travel books we have realized we are down here during the windy season but didn’t realize how much this would affect our stay upon the Amara. Escaping the wind has been our number one priority.
After our arrival we were ready to get off of the boat so I had all six kiddos grab their hiking shoes, some water, and a few flashlights in case we lost the light, and we went hiking. Trent and I had read about the three waterfalls, the Three Cascades, in Raiatea and so we went looking for them. With my sister “K” and her husband “M” and my niece “L” along, we set out on the dinghy and looked for the trail head. Our guide book said the trail would be easy and get us to the first waterfall without any problems. That isn’t exactly how it worked out. We hiked and hiked. What was supposed to be six kilometers grew longer and longer and before we knew it we were deep in a bamboo forest.
Our little hiking party had to then make an educated decision. The time was about five thirty and we were loosing light. Though we could hear the waterfall in the distance we knew our time was limited and therefore our safety. Had it been just us four adults we could have pressed on but none of us wanted to hike out of a bamboo forest in the pitch black with seven children, so we turned around. Our hike had been much lengthier than the 6 kilometers we were promised and after reading more about the hike upon our return to the boat we found that we had probably missed the first two waterfalls and were well on our way up the sketchy path through the bamboo forest to the third waterfall.
As we made it back to the main road that skirts around the island we were in the dark. I was grateful we only had a little way until we were back on our dinghy and back to the safety of the Amara. The next morning we had to make another educated decision and deciding to escape the winds of Raiatea we set our sails and headed to Taha’a.
Safe & Happy Travels