Tag Archives: Papakolea

Lush Rain Forests of Tahiti

It was 2010, just a year after selling our business, and our boys were 16 and 17 years old at the time.  On our way to Bora Bora, we spent a few days in Tahiti.  Tahiti is in French Polynesia, halfway between the USA and Australia.

Tahiti map

If you zoom in, you can see that Tahiti looks like an infinity symbol. The left part of the infinity symbol is Tahiti Nui and the right part is Tahiti Iti.

Tahiti map

Tahiti was settled in about 1,300 BC by Southeast Asians wanting to expand east.  It is part of the “Polynesian Triangle” which includes Hawaii to the north, Easter Island to the southeast, and New Zealand to the southwest. Tahiti has lush rain forests, waterfalls, lagoons, and black-sand beaches.

Tahiti Waterfalls

This was the view from our hotel room, the island you see in the distance is Moorea.

Tahiti Acommodations

During our stay, we took a bumpy ride deep into the rain forests in a 4-wheel drive.

Tahiti 4 Wheel Drive

Along the way, we stopped at massive waterfalls, water vapors filled the air as we got closer.

Tahiti Waterfalls

We visited several swimming holes where the boys and I practiced doing cannon balls after hurling ourselves off the rocks.

Tahiti Rock Diving

As we ventured deeper into the jungle, we arrived at a mountain home owned by a friend of our guide. We took that opportunity to learn more about their culture and to take in the views.

Tahiti Mountain House

Our guide was Polynesian. He sported many tattoos, each thoughtfully inked based on family stories. He told us that he continues to expand his tattoos as he ages and accumulates more life experiences.

Tahiti Tattoos

The word tattoo originated in French Polynesia. The legend of Tohu, the god of tattoo, describes painting all the oceans’ fish in beautiful colors and patterns. In Polynesian culture, tattoos have long been considered signs of beauty, and in earlier times were ceremoniously applied when reaching adolescence.

Tahiti Tattoo

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this little blast-from-the-past of our trip to Tahiti. If you are not subscribed to our blog and would like to subscribe so that new posts come directly to your email, scroll up to the right top section of this page and type in your email address.

I’ll leave you with a final picture taken on the flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora. If you would like to see more pictures from our Bora Bora trip, click here.

Flight to Bora Bora

 

 

 

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Dolphins and More in the Big Island Hawaii

This is another post from past travels our family took prior to me starting this blog. It was 2005 and our boys were 10 and 12 years old at the time.  Since we had already gone to a couple of Hawaii Islands (Oahu and Maui), it was time for something a bit different – The Big Island.

The Big Island is the biggest of all Hawaii islands and the first to be occupied. The Big Island was believed to be the first island Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesas Islands set foot on 1,500 years ago.

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When we first stepped off the plane, we knew this island was like no other. Many of the areas of the island are volcanic rock.

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Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

One of first excursions was to visit Kaloko-Honokohau, a site early Hawaiians settled. They built sacred temples here and created fishponds that trapped fish.

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You can see old artifacts that illustrate what life may have been like many years ago. The carving below was interesting enough to entice Ryan to stop using his Gameboy for a few minutes.

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Here is a fishpond that would be used to trap fish to feed the locals.

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Swimming with Dolphins

We arranged for the boys to swim with dolphins through Dolphin Quest at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and they loved it.  The dolphins are well trained and really put on a show.

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The Green Sand Beach (Papakolea)

The locals kept talking about the Green Sand Beach and how beautiful it was. So we took the 2.5 hour drive along the Kohola Coast to find the trailhead.

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What we didn’t realize was that it was another 2.5 mile hike just to get to the beach. Ryan was about to have a melt down by the time we made it there, as evidenced in the picture below.

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But it was definitely worth the hike, it is beautiful.

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The green sand gets its color from olivine crystals created from eruptions to a dormant volcano years ago. Nestled in Mahana Bay, this is truly a unique place and one of only two green sand beaches in the world.

Traveling around the Island

We saw most of the island and even took a helicopter ride to see the volcanic ash create new land along the ocean coast. I would love to show you those pictures but I accidentally deleted all of those pictures right after we returned. But I did save some of our pictures as we traveled around the island.

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Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this little blast-from-the-past of our trip to the Big Island. If you are not subscribed to our blog and would like to subscribe so that new posts come directly to your email, scroll up to the right top section of this page and type in your email address.

I’ll leave you with a final picture of Cameron and Ryan.

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