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.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Architecture & Design
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
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.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Palace of Knossos, Crete, Greece
Iraklio, CreteGreece

From Minos to Minus

We arrived in Iraklio and, as far as big cities are concerned, Greece stops there. As for history and mythology, the capital of Crete branches without end. Minos, son of Europa, had both his palace and the labyrinth in which the minotaur closed. The Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Ottomans passed through Iraklio. The Greeks who inhabit it fail to appreciate it.
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
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Chefchouen to Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco from Top to Bottom

From the aniseed alleys of Chefchaouen to the first dunes of the Sahara, Morocco reveals the sharp contrasts of the first African lands, as Iberia has always seen in this vast Maghreb kingdom.
Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Lake Sorvatsvagn, Vágar, Faroe Islands
Vágar, Faroe Islands

The Lake that hovers over the North Atlantic

By geological whim, Sorvagsvatn is much more than the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. Cliffs with between thirty to one hundred and forty meters limit the southern end of its bed. From certain perspectives, it gives the idea of ​​being suspended over the ocean.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
Ostrich, Cape Good Hope, South Africa
Cape of Good Hope - Cape of Good Hope NP, South Africa

On the edge of the Old End of the World

We arrived where great Africa yielded to the domains of the “Mostrengo” Adamastor and the Portuguese navigators trembled like sticks. There, where Earth was, after all, far from ending, the sailors' hope of rounding the tenebrous Cape was challenged by the same storms that continue to ravage there.
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.
Van at Jossingfjord, Magma Geopark, Norway
Natural Parks
Magma Geopark, Norway

A Somehow Lunar Norway

If we went back to the geological ends of time, we would find southwestern Norway filled with huge mountains and a burning magma that successive glaciers would shape. Scientists have found that the mineral that predominates there is more common on the Moon than on Earth. Several of the scenarios we explore in the region's vast Magma Geopark seem to be taken from our great natural satellite.
gaudy courtship
UNESCO World Heritage
Suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Jerusalem God, Israel, Golden City
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
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.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.