Iaorana! – Or Good morning in Tahitian! After being on the small island for a few days now you learn to say good morning to everyone so it’s becoming a lovely habit.
After enjoying yesterdays hike so much we decided to do the Belvedere lookout today which if you have seen photos of Moorea before, it’s the big peak in between the 2 Bays in the North of the Island. It actually rained very heavily during the night , just after I had mentioned not to look at the forecast but as soon as we woke up – blue skies and scorching sunshine. WINNING!!
As we can’t afford to rent a scooter again, we thought about the public bus which runs adjacent to the ferry schedule. It’s 300francs pp each way so we walked to the terminal but then put on our biggest smiles, positive attitudes and put our thumbs out to hitch-hike. Straight away a beautiful couple picked us up and drove us across the island to the starting point of the hike.
Surrounded with lush forest and the sounds of tropical birds we began our accent. It’s only about 7km from the main road but in 30 degree heat and uphill the full way, it becomes difficult and exhausting pretty quickly.
On the way up, we passed pineapple plantations, gorgeous crops of flowers, banana and papaya trees, oh and a few kittens (the island is full of dogs and cats)
At about 5kms it because pretty steep and I could hardly see with the amount of sweat and sun cream in my eyes when 2 boys from Brisbane stopped their car to offer us a lift to the top – THANK CHRIST! When we reached the top, the lookout was stunning, and after getting some drone footage we were able to sit in a shady spot and enjoy our packed lunch – a cheese baguette and some baby carrots!
The walk itself is lovely, it wasn’t busy at all and it full of luscious green jungle and breath-taking views of the bays and surrounding mountains. The summit, like every tourist hotspot, is full of tourists and like many tour companies over here, the viewpoint is on their designated list so we sat and watched numerous bus loads of tourists with their matching visors and name tags arrive and take the exact same photos before getting back on their bus. These kinds of tours are just not for me.
On the way down, a French father and son picked us up and drove us back to town which was just lovely and needed. I want to re-address now how friendly everyone is on Moorea and Tahiti in general. I touched on it briefly in my last posts, but today we actually ended up with 5 different hitch hikes across the island. Each and every one of them were such gorgeous souls each with their own story and so incredibly welcoming to us.
Traveling can be lonely, it’s great for me and Leo as we are together all the time, so we always have company, but being in paradise destination where everyone open to helping, chatting, getting to know you is so refreshing. We absolutely love it here.
‘’Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.’’ Mark Twain
We have enjoyed learning about the culture and language of the Tahitian people while being here so I have added a few bits below for anyone wanting to learn a new skill:
Greeting People: To say good morning to someone, say: ‘Ia ora na! (Good morning!). If they answer you with: E aha tō ‘oe huru?, which means, How are you?, you can answer: Maita’i (Good!), Maita’i roa (Very good!) or even Maita’i ri’i (Not bad.).
Saying Thank You: If you want to say “Thank you”, say: Māuruuru. If you want to say “No Thank You”, say ‘Aita māuruuru. To say “Thank you very much”, say Māuruuru roa!.
Saying Good Bye: To say good-bye to someone, say: Nānā! (Until we meet again!)
Yes Or No: To say Yes (a definite yes), say: ‘E!. To say Maybe (an indefinite, vague Yes,), say: ‘A!. To say “No“ (firmly with no chance of changing your mind), say: E’ita!. To say “No” in a normal and neutral way, say: ‘Aita!.
Hoping tomorrow brings with it glorious weather for our last day in Moorea before heading back to mainland Tahiti!