Tahiti with Teiva
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 13 Aug 2013 22:37
Our Tour of the Highlands of Tahiti with Teiva
We jumped up this morning, crossed the road and met Teiva. Clearly I was not disappointed to be a woman..........we hopped in his wagon, a Land Rover built in India with a Ford engine, with Dave (Alexes). We were greeted by Monica and Loic, the other two on our drive through the centre of Tahiti. Monica is Swiss, both spoke perfect English, the couple currently work in Cologne and hope to move to Switzerland next year. Teiva stopped so we could pick up filled rolls for lunch and then a stop at a supermarket for water, sweets and treats. Our first official stop as tourists was to look over the bay toward town (Papeete). I admired Teiva – oh sorry, I meant to type a tree.
We are obviously very sheltered in the town marina, so it was a surprise to stand in a stiff breeze and take in the dramatic waves, complete with surfer. Staying put we quite quickly loose our sea legs.
No sooner than Dave had rolled back the roof of the truck, at our next stop, then the first tiny spots of rain fell. Being good troopers we told Teiva that we would be fine as it was nice and warm. Mmmm. By our next stop it was really raining and none of us complained when Teiva put the roof over us once again.
At this stop Teiva picked up a large stone and whacked a hollow tree, a deep, booming noise echoed in the valley. This was how messages were passed between villages, Teiva remembers hearing the noise to call him for lunch and again at the end of the working day. Teiva left school at eleven and worked the land in this area with his grandfather who taught him so much. We stopped several times for him to show us uses of plants and flowers - ladies used the stamen of a hibiscus just like a lipstick, colouring their lips a deep brown. At the end of the evening they would then use a hibiscus petal as a make-up removing pad. He showed us herbs and a variety of plants that had medicinal uses.
Cars have a hard life in these parts.
We thought this looked rather like Ivybridge......................
.....................but you don’t see too many lorries in rivers in Devon.
Bear paddled as we watched the art of stone balancing in a long, thin valley.
Had to have a ‘tourist shot’.
Today was the last day of Monica and Loic‘s honeymoon – we wish this lovely couple a long and happy marriage. The rains came at this point, you can actually see the rain falling in the first picture, the second it was spitting but jolly cold in the hills.
Lunch was in the family meeting-cum-dining room.
Out here we really did feel out in the wilderness. We were told we could rent these traditional homes from the family of Teiva, but, we all agreed it would be a miserable experience with the constant attack of mosquitos – despite the two different types of mozzie spray we had between us. We all got a goodly number of welts – except Bear of course as they don’t like hacking their way through his fur. No sooner than we had left town than the critters were at us, but, after the rain they got really nasty and every time we stopped during the day they gathered in the truck, until I sprayed inside the roof..... held them at bay for a while at least.
After lunch we set off up a really steep unmade track, so steep that if I didn’t hold on tight I squashed poor Monica. The a steep track down to a lake and back again. Don’t I look like the archetypal Great Brit on holiday............ The height of the cascades and waterfalls, coupled with the rain means Tahiti can produce 75-85% of her electricity needs via hydroelectric production.
Teiva asked if we could see a black dot half way up the mountain, actually a tunnel......
The views were well worth it.
ALL IN ALL A WONDERFUL DAY