Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Drums and Tattoos
A Tahitian native takes a break from a performance in which he helped to animate a misses contest in the municipal market from Papeete Maputu to Paraita.
golden polynesia
Couple go sea kayaking between Tahiti and the neighboring island of Moorea.
Tropics in the middle of the Tropics
Natives refresh themselves in a lush, volcanic setting between Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti.
Polynesia in the Penumbra
Dog bathes in the low tide that bathes the coast of Puna'auia, on the west coast of Tahiti Nui.
air surf
Nativo trains surfing maneuvers in a small surf of Tahiti Nui, little or nothing comparable to the powerful one of Teahupoo.
a musical mishap
Drum players come across a broken escalator from the Papeete Maputu to Paraita market and prepare to carry a large drum up the stairs.
water from the heights
One of the many waterfalls that flow from the island's central highlands to the Pacific Ocean.
Tahiti Tatoo
Detail of the tattoos of one of the musicians performing at the Papeete market event.
A Lush Pacific
Arm of sea penetrates between the green cliffs of Tahiti Nui.
Saleswoman at her stand in Papeete market
smile and good mood
One of the many patrons of the Maputu market, Paraita, dressed in the airy and colorful fashion of French Polynesia.
Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.

We landed mid-afternoon at the Fa'a'a airport in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti and French Polynesia.

Awaiting us is Carole Folliard, a Frenchwoman who had had enough of the standardized life of the metropolis. After taking a year off to travel around Africa and South America, he found a job. As soon as he could, he moved to the Gallic Ultramar.

He welcomes us with open arms. First, in his little Fiat Panda where we could barely see our way, such was the amount of Polynesian necklaces with shells and flowers hanging from the rearview mirror.

Then, in the villa located in PK (Point Kilometer) 15 from Puna'auia that I rented to share with two colleagues, both at that time on vacation, further north, in Hawaii.

Carole sets us up, gives us a myriad of logistical directions, and returns to her professional duties on the outskirts of town.

We didn't take long to leave too. We walk to the main road – the only one that goes around the entire island. We hope you will pass the most traditional and cheapest transport in Tahiti.

In line, it doesn't take long until they approach us. "What part of the metropolis are from?" asks us a puzzled lady. “Oh, they're not French… So even more welcome.” Shortly thereafter, the conversation turns to the very late the truck and the lady vents: “they are planning to replace them with modern buses.

In a while there won't be anything typical from here. It seems that everything has to be the same as in European France.” he adds ironically.

Not even on purpose, the truck decorated with Polynesian motifs and landscapes appears.

On the way to Papeete, the Disjointed and Expensive Capital of Tahiti

We climb aboard its airy wooden box. We enjoyed the views in the almost 10 km that separated us from the center of Papeete.

The image of Tahiti's pristine paradise is shattered to shreds in this wet, abrasive capital. Here, the most patient and curious resist and investigate their chaotic soul. Those who have less time or less open-mindedness go in search of much more enchanting natural surroundings.

We started by taking a look at Praça Vaiete, which still had some street entertainment. We took another look at the marina and Bougainville Park, a kind of verdant oasis in the concrete jungle. We pass in front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and walk along Rua General de Gaulle.

However, night fell. When we returned to Vaiete, the square had changed. It had been invaded by the terraces of a series of snack caravans. Tired from so much walking, we sat down to taste raw fish with coconut sauce and white rice.

The small street delicacy served on a plastic tray had a French Polynesian price that only a few days later we stopped being scandalized: 2000 Pacific francs, 18 euros.

The Social Importance of Heiva Dances in the Society of Tahiti

Ten o'clock is approaching. We're going to meet Carole at a place where she had regular heiva dance rehearsals for an upcoming annual contest.

When we arrived, more than a hundred Polynesian natives and a few meters (French from the metropolis) were still shaking their hips and their skirts hula, in the case of our hostess and other Europeans, part of her group's choreography.

And of an ongoing process of integration in distant and exotic Tahiti that, despite being administered and financed by France, at a popular level, has always resisted its polished and refined ways.


Saleswoman at her stand in Papeete market

The European Arrival in Polynesia that remains to be confirmed

European explorations ventured into these places only from the second half of the XNUMXth century onwards. Historians are divided as to who was the first navigator to anchor off the island.

Among the most probable hypotheses and at different periods are the French Lieutenant Samuel Walis who circumnavigated the world.

Also the Spanish explorer Juan Fernández and, before heading to the Melanesian archipelago of Vanuatu, the Portuguese pilot Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, at the service of Don Alvaro de Mendaña and the Spanish Crown, who had the common primary objective of the maritime powers of the time to map the Terra Australis Incognita.

What the navigators then found will not have differed much from what we committed to explore on the following day of circum-driving the island, already with a rented car the day before.

Discovering Tahiti Nui, the Big Island of Tahiti

We woke up early and turned onto the ring road in Puna'auai.

Tahiti splits in two. The largest island, Tahiti Nui, is home to the majestic Mount Orohena (2241m) and a series of other soaring peaks, sharp and verdant to the maximum, two of them, with more than two thousand meters.

Tropics in the middle of the Tropics

Natives refresh themselves in a lush, volcanic setting between Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti.

To the southeast, the Presque' Ile (almost island) of Tahiti Iti, a tiny, wild version of Tahiti Nui.

Both are the result of strong volcanism, of the erosion that followed and continues to be seen.

We toured Nui counterclockwise with strategic stops on beaches and long waterfalls, where the deepest cuts of the dramatic and lush relief allowed us to enter whatever was inland.

water from the heights

One of the many waterfalls that flow from the island's central highlands to the Pacific Ocean.

When we reached Phaeton Bay, we took advantage of the paved road to proceed to about the southern half of Tahiti Iti.

The end of the asphalt corresponds to Teahupoo. By itself, this name says little to the common visitor, but any surfer or surfer will rave just to hear it say it.

Teahupoo, Site of one of the Most Reputable Waves in the World

There, a few hundred meters from the reef that gives rise to the heaviest wave (despite reaching only 3 to 7 meters in height) and one of the most respected and respected on the face of the Earth, we also feel privileged.

Even knowing that only the professionals or the really capable ones dare to surf it.

The force of the semi-circular breakers and the shallow depth of the shore bed can result in serious injury and even death. Dozens of surfers have already perished victims of its power.

On the coast in front, come to us à mind images of its large and bulky tubes.

And, in the extension of the imaginary, the handwriting of "tahitian moon" Both of you Porn for Pyros, in which New York vocalist Perry farrel who moved to Los Angeles, in the 80s, to make a living from surfing, sings of a maritime misadventure that happened to him in these parts:

"I don't know if I'll make it home tonight, but I Know I can swim under the Tahitian Moon”.

Today, a universal sport, surfing was, like tattoos and for centuries, a central element of Polynesian culture. Like the discovery of Tahiti, the first European to enjoy surfing is also a matter of debate.

air surf

Nativo trains surfing maneuvers in a small surf of Tahiti Nui, little or nothing comparable to the powerful one of Teahupoo.

The Troubled Passage of the "Bounty" through Tahiti

This inaugural and eccentric vision will also have been verified in this island that the world soon associated with paradise due to successive written testimonies of the tropical beauty of the scenery and the affability of the welcome of the natives, propagated as never before in "Revolt in the Bounty".

In the feature, while waiting for a better time to pick the breadfruit that the British planned to more economically feed West Indian slaves, sailors under the command of ruthless Captain William Bligh, including 1st Lieutenant Fletcher Christian (Marlon Brando) strayed for six months in the pleasant life and free love of the natives.

Christian himself falls in love with Maimiti, the king's daughter. Sixteen men exchange the penalty of continuing aboard the "Bounty" for Tahitian glee.

In this same tour of the Society Islands, we explored five other islands in the archipelago including Bora Bora e Mauritius.

We confirmed that, even though protected by a barrier reef that gives it a turquoise halo, much higher Tahiti was not an atoll.

For this reason, whether by plane or from the top of the elevations in the center of these geological formations, we were also able to conclude that most of the neighbors turned out to be, in visual terms, much more attractive.

And yet, Tahiti has always been the great leader and has always had the greatest reputation as a paradise in the Terra.

We return to the base of Puna'auai.

Polynesia in the Penumbra

Dog bathes in the low tide that bathes the coast of Puna'auia, on the west coast of Tahiti Nui.

Carole has to take care of other dress details for the competition. heive.

We insist with Papeete.

Polynesian Life that Dazzled and Inspired Paul Gauguin

At the Maputu a Paraita municipal market, we are rewarded with many of the characters and the experience that will have enchanted the sailors of the “Bounty”, made Paul Gauguin settle camps on the island and paint like never before.

Filled with fruit and vegetables of every color and immaculately arranged on stalls, the market is bustling with vendors in traditional Polynesian dresses in bold hues, adorned with ruffles, garlands, necklaces and who knows what else. There is a local competition for misses.

An effeminate master of ceremonies surrounded by natives and several others mahus (men-women from French Polynesia) presents candidates in catadupa to the rhythm of drums played by men only bare-chested, muscular and covered in Tahitian-style tattoos.

Drums and Tattoos

Tahitian native takes a break from a performance in which he helped animate a misses contest in the market from Papeete Maputu to Paraita

Unfolded in careful rites, the party entered the afternoon. During this time, Papeete also fulfilled his most executive functions.

Dozens of ferries sailed to other islands in French Polynesia,

There arrived and departed countless tourists eager to explore the surrounding aphrodisiac archipelago and numerous deals were made with the metropolis and other cities in the world.

golden polynesia

Couple go sea kayaking between Tahiti and the neighboring island of Moorea.

Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

Lifou is the island in the middle of the three that make up the semi-francophone archipelago off New Caledonia. In time, the Kanak natives will decide if they want their paradise independent of the distant metropolis.
Cilaos, Reunion Island

Refuge under the roof of the Indian Ocean

Cilaos appears in one of the old green boilers on the island of Réunion. It was initially inhabited by outlaw slaves who believed they were safe at that end of the world. Once made accessible, nor did the remote location of the crater prevent the shelter of a village that is now peculiar and flattered.
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

James Cook thus named distant New Caledonia because it reminded him of his father's Scotland, whereas the French settlers were less romantic. Endowed with one of the largest nickel reserves in the world, they named Le Caillou the mother island of the archipelago. Not even its mining prevents it from being one of the most dazzling patches of Earth in Oceania.
Papeete, French Polynesia

The Third Sex of Tahiti

Heirs of Polynesian ancestral culture, the Mahu they preserve an unusual role in society. Lost somewhere between the two genders, these men-women continue to fight for the meaning of their lives.
Maupiti, French Polynesia

A Society on the Margin

In the shadow of neighboring Bora Bora's near-global fame, Maupiti is remote, sparsely inhabited and even less developed. Its inhabitants feel abandoned but those who visit it are grateful for the abandonment.
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Visitors in Jameos del Água, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Architecture & Design
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Dragon Dance, Moon Festival, Chinatown-San Francisco-United States of America
Ceremonies and Festivities
San Francisco, USA

with the head on the moon

September comes and Chinese people around the world celebrate harvests, abundance and unity. San Francisco's enormous Sino-Community gives itself body and soul to California's biggest Moon Festival.
San Pedro Atacama Street, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

São Pedro de Atacama: an Adobe Life in the Most Arid of Deserts

The Spanish conquerors had departed and the convoy diverted the cattle and nitrate caravans. San Pedro regained peace but a horde of outsiders discovering South America invaded the pueblo.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Cuada village, Flores Island, Azores, rainbow quarter
Aldeia da Cuada, Flores Island, Azores

The Azorean Eden Betrayed by the Other Side of the Sea

Cuada was founded, it is estimated that in 1676, next to the west threshold of Flores. In the XNUMXth century, its residents joined the great Azorean stampede to the Americas. They left behind a village as stunning as the island and the Azores.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang , Laos

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Safotu Church
Savai’i, Samoa

The Great Samoa

Upolu is home to the capital and much of the tourist attention. On the other side of the Apolima strait, the also volcanic Savai'i is the largest and highest island in the archipelago of Samoa and the sixth in the immense Polynesia. Samoans praise her authenticity so much that they consider her the soul of the nation.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Mirador de La Peña, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

Until Columbus arrived in the Americas, El Hierro was seen as the threshold of the known world and, for a time, the Meridian that delimited it. Half a millennium later, the last western island of the Canaries is teeming with exuberant volcanism.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands
Natural Parks
Saba, The Netherlands

The Mysterious Dutch Queen of Saba

With a mere 13km2, Saba goes unnoticed even by the most traveled. Little by little, above and below its countless slopes, we unveil this luxuriant Little Antille, tropical border, mountainous and volcanic roof of the shallowest european nation.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
UNESCO World Heritage
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Surf Lesson, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Erika Mother

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Bwabwata National Park, Namibia, giraffes
PN Bwabwata, Namíbia

A Namibian Park Worth Three

Once Namibia's independence was consolidated in 1990, to simplify its management, the authorities grouped together a trio of parks and reserves on the Caprivi strip. The resulting PN Bwabwata hosts a stunning immensity of ecosystems and wildlife, on the banks of the Cubango (Okavango) and Cuando rivers.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.