Hiking in the Rooniu, located...

Hiking in the Rooniu, located...

Hiking in the Rooniu, located on Tahiti Iti, and east of Aorai. This is not the mountain on the page, but since I never got a really good view of Aorai, this will give you a good idea of what the mountains in the area look like.
on Dec 12, 2005 4:50 pm
Image ID: 140802


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pkingsley - Aug 16, 2016 7:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Small Lake Near Vaifalu Overlook

Hi Scott

I found the Aorai page and then this photo when I was trying to remember the name of the very small lake Robert Stanley wrote about in his Moon Handbook, but haven't been able to find my copy, which I used for my 2 trips to French Polynesia. Do you remember what it was called? I'll be able to check it at a B & N at some point, but wanted to tell you what a fantastic job you've done--and I'm sure the others in this forum are doing as well. It's another world to me, as I grew up in SE Alabama, which is nice, but not dramatic like the West (I spent two summers in Aspen as teen at the Music School there and have been to LA a lot). I have a great love for nature, but have been a New York City dweller since I came to Juilliard in 1969. This whole life-style of climbing every few days (I read your log of 2016, and plan to read the others, and other members' too, even though I'm 65, and it's too late to start anything too dramatic--I wish I could have, but then I also wish I had been where I could have grown up surfing), after work, after church, with your family, I had no idea it was such an all-encompassing thing and it is very inspiring to read about it--I find it more inspiring than the Olympics, frankly.

My interest is different, but the love of spectacular natural beauty is the same. I recall as a 5th grader getting to my father's Pacific Islands Year Book of 1944 he somehow brought back from his years in the Air Force in WWII. I learned about all the islands, and he told me hundreds of stories about his time in New Guinea, New Hebrides (Vanuatu), esp. Santo, New Britain, Russell Islands, Solomon Islands, and more. I was stuck on Hawaii for about 2 months, then wondered why it went away. Then the same thing happened with Tahiti and the rest of the French islands, but that has lasted a lifetime. I got updated copies from Sydney by mail of the 'Yearbook' and they had a PIMonthly which I got too (both defunct now.) Finally in 2003, I had the money and the will to go, and that was a fantastic trip, although I stuck to Tahiti and Moorea that time. The 4WD tour of the interior is the most awesomely beautiful place I've ever seen, there's one restaurant/small inn in the center and no dwellings. People don't know that in many ways the main island is by far the most beautiful, and it's because of that uninhabited interior. We saw Orohena fairly well from the Relais de la Maroto, the rest. I mentioned and where we lunched. All of it breathtaking. This was in December, 2003. I went to Moorea and swam in Cook's Bay that trip too. Magnificent island, and your photos of Rotui are much better than one can pick up on the net just googling for images.

I went again in August, 2004, and still stayed mostly in Papeete, but went again to Moorea (you definitely see Rotui on the bus trip around the island, which we took because the Rotui Citrus Factory was closed or inaccessible--Rotui has easily the best grapefruit juice I've ever tasted, no comparison), and then for a couple of days to Bora Bora, seeing Raiatea and Tahaa, and Huahine (including that famous isthmus between Huahine-nui and Huahine-iti I'd seen in an ancient b & w photo in my father's old book). Bora Bora is as picture-perfect as any Paradise can be, and although 'for billionaires', I was able to stay at Matira Beach in a fine, reasonable bungalow with weird natural optical illusions and a gecko who stayed at the stop of it staring the whole time. Mentioning this, because you wrote that there are some peaks in these islands that have not been climbed (probably a number in the Marquesas, where I have not been, and wish I had that second time.) I read, but didn't believe, that Otemanu, the iconic centre of Bora Bora may never have been climbed--but it's so steep and craggy, maybe the fact that there's been all that development has nothing to do with that, since Moorea is also very developed for tourists.

Also wanted to mention how interesting the stuff you had on Mauna Loa--the sheer size was not something I had any idea of--was to read about. If you have any suggestions of other members who have done a lot of climbing in Tahiti, etc., I'd like to look at those.

You've been all over the world and still going, I tend to be only interested in the South Pacific still for nature, although I know there is much more, and I guess I'd like to see parts of Greece, and did like the Virgin Islands too, but not like Tahiti. Elsewhere, I usually want to go to cities, having lived here since I was 17, with a year in Paris. I never got to Rome, though. But I want to see those parts of the Pacific my father was in and also more of Tahiti and the Society Islands. Oh yes, I did go to Tautira on that second trip just for a day trip, and it was magnificent there and fairly untouristed by comparison. The 4WD tour in Bora Bora does go partially up Mt. Otemanu, and these views are plain outrageous you see so many colours of water. Although I enjoyed the Papenoo Valley more, we had a Marquesan guide, he was great, and bathed in Vaiharuru Falls.

Things are not so wonderful, it sometimes seems, in the USA right now, although I'm sure it's always peaceful in Craig, CO. So finding your pages and climbing history was a real release for me, and I am looking forward to exploring the whole forum with the other climbers and canyoneers too. Who knows what might happen?

pkingsley - Aug 16, 2016 7:54 pm - Hasn't voted

lac vaihiria

Forgot to mention Lake Vaihiria, Tahiti-nui which is usually said to be the only lake in Tahiti. This was one of the places I most wanted to get to, but there was a collapsed road in 2003 (which they only informed us of toward the end of the drive, the rascals!) IN 2004, I phoned several of the tour companies, all of which said the road was open, and when I got there they all said it was closed. That's the one where they always talk about the strange fish they used to call an 'eared eel'. Anyway, I mention this, because Stanley's book is the only place I ever saw mention of another lake, obviously much smaller and I had wondered if this photo was near that area and that bit of water might even be a part of this small lake in Tahiti-iti.



Scott - Aug 16, 2016 11:41 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: lac vaihiria

The particular stream in the photo is near Pension Bonjouir on Tahiti Iti. It is not that far from shore.

Thanks for the comments!

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