Edit Blog Post
Published: April 23rd 2012
Of all the things that my mother has 'instructed' me to do over the years, such as 'brush your teeth' 'comb your hair' 'wear a bicycle helmet', the one that reminded me of her today was the instruction 'don't go hiking alone'. It reminded me of her because it was good advice.....that I did not follow. Just like the messy haired kid popping wheelies on his BMX with no helmet many years ago, I decided to proceed on a solo hike, knowing full well that my mother would kill me, if the trail didn't.
We came back to Moorea on the boat so that everyone could have a couple of days off on this beautiful island, before we head to the Tuamotus. The other day that I had off, I went kiteboarding, which was awesome. I was going to just go and do that again, but two of the guys from the boat had gone on a hike on their day off, and although they came back from it looking like they'd gone to hell and back, they said it was the coolest thing that they'd done on this island. So.........I wanted to do it.
View of the Ridge from the Reef
The trail starts in the bottom right of the picture, goes up, then to the right, and then heads left all the way across the picture to the top left corner.
I had one of the guys drop me off in the tender about a mile from where the trail began, as that was as close as we could get by boat. It was 7am, and it was already in the mid 80s, and getting hotter. I was already sweating about 5mins into my walk on flat land. Not an impressive start really.
As I did not know exactly where the trail began, I wandered around somewhat aimlessly for a little bit. I stopped and asked a man, who I thought would have been a local French Polynesian, for directions. After we exchanged greetings of 'bonjour', I asked if he spoke English, to which he replied 'Yeah Dude, I'm from California!'. Turns out his son is named Conor too. Anyways, he pointed me in the right direction, but was concerned about my safety, being that I was alone, and didn't look prepared for a good hike in my Adidas Chile 62's and backpack with two liters of water and some BBQ beef jerky bars (gross!). I told him I wasn't going to try to go to the top, but just a little way up for a good view.
Ridge Side Profile
The ridge climbing from left to right is the exact route I took to the top, as the trail was right on the very top of the ridge the whole way up.
(fingers were crossed!).
The start of the hike took me past some small rustic houses full of assorted mixed breeds of dogs, which woke everone up who wasn't up already, as I went by. The trail was narrow, and overgrown, but it was definitely a trail, and was pretty easy to follow. The beginning of the trail was kind of annoying, mainly because it was all bush that was about 8-10ft high, so you couldn't see anything for awhile. About 20 mins in, the brush dropped down to waist height, and you could begin to see some really cool views. Crystal clear shallow water is always amazing to look at, and today was no exception.
I followed the trail at a steady pace--I'm not in shape at the moment, by my standards, but not horribly out of it either, and I did get a pretty good cardio workout out of the climb. The trail followed the top of a ridge the entire way, and dropped off very steeply on either side of this ridge, while climbing at a steady rate itself. I began to recall the movie '127 Hours'. The moral of that story
was 'Don't Hike Alone, or you'll end up cutting your own arm off to survive'.
The reason I enjoy hiking alone is that it is all about YOU pushing YOU. There's no one there to tell you to go harder, no one to motivate you, no one to convince you that you can do it, no one to encourage you, no one to lead you, no one to lean on. It's the same reason I like working out alone. You either just do it, or you don't. It's simple. You find out whether you possess intestinal fortitude, or not. It's quite liberating really. It's not like I was climbing Mt. Everest or anything crazy like that, but it was a pretty challenging hike for a 3000ft mountain. Regardless, it was a great feeling reaching the summit and the little red flag up in the clouds. It was even better when the clouds cleared and I could actually enjoy the view. From the top you could also see the south coast of Moorea, and Tahiti in the distance. I made it to the top in just over 2 hours.
Ok, so I admit it wasn't
a smart idea going hiking alone. It was pretty much confirmed when I slipped on the soft mossy terrain towards the top of the mountain, and fell off of the trail, which left me hanging onto an exposed root with two hands for my dear life haha. It was in this exact moment, looking up at the trail a couple of feet above my head, that I thought, 'my moms gonna kill me....'
Tot: 2.473s; Tpl: 0.078s; cc: 10; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0459s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb