This is the story of the events that lead to my eating brie cheese on the top of a mountain. It was an experience that was new to me, and oddly satisfying.
The day began normally. My dad and I woke up, and I had my usual cup of coffee in the cockpit while awaiting the sunrise. We started earlier than normal since the World Arc, a group of cruisers going around the world, were leaving the Bora Bora Yacht Club at some time in the morning, and we wanted to take one of their moorings. We hoisted our anchor and motored to the fuel dock, where we were tied up by 0610. After bunkering (filling our tanks), we cruised around the corner to find that the mooring field was still full.
We decided to anchor and ask TinTin, an aluminum hull boat with several people in the cockpit, why they were still there. They told him there was an official start at 1130. After my grueling adventure on Moorea, I learned my lesson and was not keen for a noon hike. I had my dad take me to shore at 0800 and intended to help him moor when I finished.
I followed directions from trip advisor to find the path, this time, with little difficulty. After passing a sign that said, as much as I could translate the French, “A guide is highly recommended for this hike.” I thought to myself, “Here we go again.”
I walked up the dirt road, turned left at the small white house, then followed the path into the forest. The trail was steep, with several switchbacks and even a few ropes to help you on the muddy inclines. The beginning was not terribly difficult, and I was having a great time listening to a motivation playlist.
Everything was going well until I took my phone out and tweeted that I hoped for a clear summit. Minutes after I sent it, the rain began. Then it picked up to a downpour. I thought about turning back, but then I saw another group of hikers ahead of me continuing, so I thought it must be fine. Plus, the rain was refreshing and washed all of my sweat away.
I caught up to the other group and discovered they were sailors from Montana. We did quick introductions, and I discovered Marcus and Diana, also bloggers at alloravoyage.com, are doing a circumnavigation on the 10 year plan. Accompanying them was Marcus’s brother and niece. They didn’t want to overload me with names so I never learned theirs. I passed the group and said see you at the top.
Towards the peak, I was climbing a black polypropylene rope pulling myself up a steep creek bed that looked like it never would end, when the rain stopped. I hurried up the remainder of that rope and the next one, and arrived at the summit. There was a rainbow over the port and the clouds were clearing. I could see a cruise ship in the distance and had a 360 view of the island. Bora Bora has two main peaks that tower over the rest of the island, which you cannot easily climb, so I was content with my destination and took some pictures.
While I was eating a granola bar and rehydrating, my new friends arrived. I thanked them for coming along to photograph me, and returned the favor. Then, after the hike was sufficiently documented, Diana opened her pack and removed two cheeses, crackers, olives, dried strawberries, chocolate, and more. I was impressed, and they invited me to join the picnic. My contribution was water, of which I still had a gallon that I did not want to lug down the mountain, and granola bars, which nobody wanted. I enjoyed being included in their group, but had to hurry down the mountain to help move Nor’easter.
I only took one wrong turn on the way down, and noticed after five minutes when I dislodged a few large rocks and sending them tumbling through the dense forest. The rocks on trails are usually sturdy so it was a good clue that I was creating a new path. I retraced my steps, and continued down the correct route. I exited the forest with a smile instead of wounds, a full stomach, and my new friends boat card (like a business card) in my pocket. Who says Bora Bora is boring?