Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hiking twin-peaked mount Pahia

We hiked Mt. Pahia on Bora Bora a couple of days ago. It was a very steep and challenging ascent with lots of wet slippery roots and rocks. Thankfully there were some ropes already attached in the steepest sections. Along the way, there were views of the small islets (motus), the lagoon, and the reef far below. We enjoyed walking under the cool canopy of trees, giant ferns, hanging vines, and pandanus. Near the top, there were pink hibiscus bushes amid tall wild grass and I also spotted some wild ginger root in the rocky crevices. 

When we reached the first peak with the Bora Bora flag, the view became mostly white - swirling clouds which occasionally parted for a second. We were always too late to capture the vision on camera. There was no point in continuing to the higher peak as rain seemed likely. The scramble down was slow as we had to go backwards on all fours in the slippery areas where ropes were impractical. Our friend Bob had brought a light 60ft rope which Chris volunteered to tie to tree trunks and sturdy roots at some steep pitches. That really helped the rest of us. 

We celebrated in the evening by going in for "happy hour" at the Mai Kai restaurant. It was very therapeutic and a good social with friends from three other yachts. My rum cocktail was delicious but I was unable to do anything else when we rowed back to the boat. We put off our planned departure for Maupiti as neither of us felt like rising at 4am!

Chris sailing - Mount Pahia is to the upper left.

The hike took us through towering ferns.

View back to our mooring off the Mai Kai restaurant

Bob and Anne from Charisma San Francisco joined us on the hike. Note the rock face that we hiked beneath as we  rounded the mountain to the other side where the trail ascended again.

Several sections of the hike were roped.

Rani, Bob, and Anne arrive at a rest spot.

Estelle is a naturalist on the cruise ship Paul Gaugin. Herbert - above her is a baker on board.

Happy to be at the lower summit - note the tiny patch of view through the clouds.

Under the flag on Pahia lower summit. Note the fine clear view (of cloud).

Climbing back down was made more interesting by a downpour. Here we are using Bob's rope.

Glad to be down. Note the blue Cowichan Outdoor Group ribbon that now marks the start of the trail.

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