Tahiti Hike: Lavatubes
After underestimating the intensity of the 4x4 action that was the approach road for this hike, we didn’t have time to make it all of the way to the 3rd lavatube and back in daylight and we certainly weren’t driving that road in the dark. Let the adventure begin…
The road is closed to cars unless you pay 2000CFP. It was a beautiful area with some pretty views down the valley to the ocean.
The main reason that people visit is to climb through these caves (the tubes) and to see a bunch of small waterfalls in a jungle setting. We had a blast and on a weekday in October, had the entire place to ourselves except for a lone mountain biker we met on his way down the road while we were driving up.
Despite being recovering (on break?) rock climbers, or perhaps because of it, neither Carol or I love pulling down on ropes that we can’t see the attachments for and so we opted to swim the first lavatube which was spooky, fun, and refreshing in the heat.
This decision became a little more spooky when later in the hike we caught a glimpse of a two foot long fresh water eel. I’m sure we aren’t in their normal food chain but I’m also sure I don’t want to jump on top of one while it is swimming in a dark cave. Something I got to consider on our way back down to the first lavatube in detail.
The entire hike had a surprising lack of bugs despite the humidity, heat and greenery. We encountered a few clouds of gnats but not a lot more. Good thing with the dengue going around Tahiti right now.
There is something so relaxing about stone hopping in a river. The concentration, the sound of the running water. We both loved this hike.