Maupiti - Don't upgrade your bikes!

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February 19th 2015
Published: February 20th 2015
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Maupiti babyMaupiti babyMaupiti baby

The essence of French Polynesia - childlike relaxed joy and simplicity.
10 days in French Polynesia. Wow, now who could complain about that! There were hikes in the Orofero valley on the main island of Tahiti, mountain silhouette views of the sleeping pregnant woman off our Huahine beach, and playful forays in the sparkling coral reefs around Maupiti. The days were hot, sticky, and flirting between crystal sunshine and varying intensities of rainfall. In search of both adventure and relaxation, we chose islands a bit off the beaten path.

Once out of Tahiti, a 40 minute flight landed us on beautiful Huahine whose gentle people were quick to laugh and admit that more than a few of them were still hoping for independence from both France and Tahiti. Thanks to the benevolence of France and the retention of family land, residents here enjoy a good life. Fresh tuna and tiny, uber-sweet bananas are as abundant as the lush tropical foliage covering the volcanic hillsides. And for those tourists lucky enough to claim one of only 100 available rooms for rent, simple pleasures abound. For us, it was all about meandering and eating. We cruised the west side of the island in a little rented motorboat, rounded the island roads
Maupiti viewsMaupiti viewsMaupiti views

Typical lagoon waters, as warm as a soothing bath.
in the back of an open tourist truck with Paul Atallah of Ecotours, and hoofed the beach between our Maitai Lapita bungalow and the village of Fare. And in addition to the fresh tuna, tropical fruits, and French baguettes, we discovered the pleasure of local Tahitian Hinano beer. Ahhh…. Life is good.

After an unexpected overnight rain delay in Raiatea, we hopped over to little Maupiti, the farthest westward Society island served by Air Tahiti. Maupiti, the undisturbed little sister of Bora Bora, charmed our senses and our hearts. Nary a 2 story building can be found nor can resort pools or taxis. But you can rent an old style bicycle on the main island and round its volcanic mountain in less than 2 hours if you don’t get sidelined by the little artisan shacks and alluring beaches along the way. At our little Le Kuriri pension on the Tiapaa motu, life is French sophisticated and Maupiti simple. We are treated with the utmost hospitality by our hosts Camille and Jacqueline. Solar powered lights, stiff ocean breezes, and comfy mosquito net covered bedding grace our little Pilotis oceanfront bungalow. Family style dining with a lovely French family and our hosts were an anticipated highlight at the end of each day. Superb meals were presented consisting of the likes of tuna with vanilla sauce, papaya gratinee, and chocolate mousse. It was in Maupiti’s lagoon that finally we are able to swim with a Manta ray. Oh, the grace of their gently flapping 2+meter wings, gliding to and fro as they enjoy a cleaning by some little reef fishes. Led by friendly Tahitian “Sammy”, we also explore a coral garden maze and are filled with wonder by the colorful varied corals and fishes in the bathwater warm, azure blue lagoon waters.

Now, as we finish our books, nurse our sunburns, and fly over the Pacific toward Los Angeles, relaxation and adventure still fill our souls. Please don’t change, Maupiti. We all need a place like this to escape to and remember that life indeed can be breathed in simply, one experience at a time.

Additional photos below
Photos: 36, Displayed: 24


Fare SuisseFare Suisse
Fare Suisse

Our Tahiti pensione located a 5 minute walk up the hill from Papeete town. Well run and convenient.
Heading into the valleyHeading into the valley
Heading into the valley

4 wheeling across a river into Orofero valley, Tahiti.
Banana PlantationBanana Plantation
Banana Plantation

Hiking into a family banana plantation. Tahiti.
Hiking Orofero ValleyHiking Orofero Valley
Hiking Orofero Valley

River crossings could be tricky!
Hot ChilisHot Chilis
Hot Chilis

Chilis, pretty in the sunlight. The plant diversity in the valley is incredible!
Claude's hidden estateClaude's hidden estate
Claude's hidden estate

We hiked to Claude's home, a friend of our guide, and enjoyed a lunch and the pleasure of his company.
Wild TahitiWild Tahiti
Wild Tahiti

Thank you Eric Lenoble of Tahitievasion for showing us this world!
Valley viewValley view
Valley view

Looking toward the Orofero valley where we earlier in the day hiked. left mid-photo.

As viewed from a hilltop in Tahiti.
Which should I choose?Which should I choose?
Which should I choose?

Tahiti pearl market. A must visit!
Maitai Lapita pool and beachMaitai Lapita pool and beach
Maitai Lapita pool and beach

Behind me is our open dining area, and ahead the views we never tired of. Huahine.
 Maitai Lapita beach Maitai Lapita beach
Maitai Lapita beach

As viewed from our little rented tin-tub.
The sex of a womanThe sex of a woman
The sex of a woman

Can you see the sleeping pregnant woman on the mountain skyline? Tahitian: Hua="sex of" and Vaihine="woman"
Hiro HitiHiro Hiti
Hiro Hiti

This fisherman once led not only the Huahine Assembly, but also the movement for independence, and has royal Huahine ancestry. I enjoyed a morning conversation as he fished.
Maitai Lapita bungalowsMaitai Lapita bungalows
Maitai Lapita bungalows

Ahhhhhhh…….All quiet, except when those noisy chirping morning birds perched on the roof!
View from our deckView from our deck
View from our deck

Turtles, fish, and blue-eyed eels lurked in the waters below. Mosquitos lurked above!

View towards Raiatea, Tahaa, and even Bora Bora from Maitai Lapita beach.
Supply shipSupply ship
Supply ship

Every evening supplies are brought into the village of Fare, Huahine. We enjoyed watching them load/unload on a few evenings.

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