Tahiti Iti’s Teahupo’o

We went unexpectedly to what turned out to be my favorite place on the island of Tahiti, Teahupo’o.  People flock to this remote settlement on Tahiti Iti year-round to eat coconuts and hang out.  Many pretend to surf.   Real thrill-surfing occurs way offshore, especially in August.

Geographically, the island of Tahiti is a large circle with a smaller circle attached to its southeast.  An isthmus connects the 2 circles at the town of Taravao.  Tahiti Iti is the far smaller circle and is far less developed than Tahiti Nui.  Like on Mo’orea and Bora Bora, mountains dominate the interiors of both Nui and Iti (also called Presqu’ile).  Nui’s highest point is Mt Orohena, soaring 7,352 feet into an almost always sunny sky.  Iti’s tallest point, as far as I can tell, is 4,370 foot Mt Ronui, which can be barely seen from Teahupo’o.  It’s near this circle’s center.  Iti has 2 extinct volcanoes.  There are only 2 paved roads on it.  One terminates at the town of Tautira and is said to be winding, and the other, straighter road ends at Teahupo’o.  Beyond these 2 towns are hiking trails, well-hidden and dangerous stonefish, boat tours, the Te Pari cliffs, and more.  Iti is more authentically Polynesian than Nui.

Teahupo’o becomes Iti’s biggest destination every August.  This town is very well-known to surfers who come here to experience its monster wave.  In August Teahupo’o hosts the Billabong Pro Tahiti competition that attracts the top surfers from the World Surfing League.  Lonely Planet calls this, “one of the greatest live sporting events you may ever get to see” and says that advanced surfers love Teahupo’o’s “hollow reef waves year round”.  The smart ones wear sandals while wading near the shore because stonefish, the most venomous fish on this planet, are plentiful in the area.  Stepping on one with bare feet requires medical attention to avoid a painful death.  Less experienced surfer wannabe’s like Ruth climb into the blue shell in Teahupo’o center to have their picture taken.

Visiting Teahupo’o is a laid-back, people-centered experience.  Have a picnic.

Hank

 

 

 

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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