Lace up your shoes, put your backpack on, let’s go!
I will not be telling you about the legend of the pierced mountain, I would probably mix everything up, but I know that there is something about a spear… It may be just for me, but the pierced mountain usually means lazy and pleasant weekends. First of all, it means a weekend in Moorea, which is always a little “vacation”. Then, if you can see the mountain’s hole it means that the weather is nice and that there is a good chance that the two days in Moorea are going to be sunny! But not today. The program this time is to climb up there and see what’s going on.
A hike in Moorea always starts with an early awakening in Tahiti. You can’t take the risk of missing the first ferry, as it is much more pleasant to walk in the morning when the sun isn’t too overwhelming. Waking up at 5AM, preparing snacks, filling bottles of water and you’re all set to go to the ferry terminal. Arriving at around 8AM in Moorea (after having carefully scrutinized the mountain during the last minutes of crossing), I pick up my hiking partner and off we go to start this adventure. We find the point of departure easily, it is sometimes more complicated.
The hike starts gently with a sloping path to stretch our legs before the more challenging portions. After twenty minutes, we have to leave the main path, which if you continue leads to a beautiful waterfall. Then we go down into the forest, we move away from the small river that we were following so far and it starts to climb seriously. It’s not very long, but it’s steep! Fortunately we are in the shade. After 30 minutes, we come across a small sign that lets us know that we are on the right path. It’s reassuring, although it’s hard to get lost when there is only one road. The slope is less steep and we walk to reach the top of the waterfall. However, it is not like the Fautaua (a mountain in Tahiti), we can only guess the waterfall by the noise it makes and there is no toboggan this time. We then walk upstream a river. It is particularly nice to feel a little cool after the climb. There are some passages with rope, but nothing really bad. Take advantage of this part to catch your breath, as the next stage gets a little complicated.
After an hour, we leave the river and the serious stuff begin (or the fun starts, it’s a matter of point of view). We are for the first time since the departure out in the open. The view is immediately striking, we already see both sides of the island! Those who are not afraid of height will be thrilled, the others will have to watch their feet… This last part is the most challenging one. A lot of ropes, but at least this way you can use your arms and rest your legs. The ground is sometimes a little slippery so it’s important to remain careful. It is sometimes complicated, the view is so amazing. Sometimes we see Vaiare and Afareaitu, sometimes the Rotui and the bays of Cook and Opunohu. “Wait, let’s take a picture!” That’s the best excuse to take a break without having to say it! The summit is not very far and soon enough we can even see the hole. It is particularly motivating to see the mountain’s hole so close and even if we are starting to feel tired, we can say we are almost there. One last rope, the hardest one, and we are at the top!
It is possible to continue a little more, just twenty extra meters to sit on a piece of rock on the ridge. We find ourselves facing Rotui and Cook’s Bay, our feet above a few hundred meters of empty space. It’s exhilarating. The wind rises and brings some clouds that hide the void. The reward is immediate: a 360 ° view of the island of Moorea. The Tohiea to the south, the Rotui and the two bays to the west, Vaiare (and a tiny ferry) and Tahiti to the east. The Mou’a Puta is only 830 meters above sea level, the clouds are above us at this specific moment, the view is perfectly clear. It never really lasts so make the most of this moment. Back on the platform of the summit, it is time to open a little beer, and even if after more than 2h30 of hiking these are not very cold anymore, they still taste like victory! After a well-deserved picnic and several photos, we start thinking about our descent. After all, we’re only halfway there. The descent is much less physical but still, it takes some efforts. The clouds have dampened the ground a little, so it’s a bit more slippery and complicates things. Despite being tired, we must remain careful. Once we are back at the river everything is much simpler and the hike ends like on a relaxing note. You can rinse your legs, refresh yourself a little. After 2 hours of descent, we are back at the car. It is still early enough and I will not miss the ferry at 4:15 pm, it is rather good news! On the return ferry, I leave the Mou’a Puta behind me thinking that the next time I see it, there will be much more to it than the memories of quiet weekends…
Source: Aremiti Magazine