We shared a day’s car rental with Enki II and drove off to see more of the beautiful island of Tahiti. It’s so steep that there are no proper roads over the interior of the island — unless you rent a 4×4 — so we planned to drive the circumference. You can’t actually circumnavigate because the road doesn’t connect on the remote southeast side, but we did our best to cover the territory in the time we had.
We started at Point Venus, notable as the first landfall of Captain Cook when he was sent to observe the transit of Venus in 1769. Now it’s mostly a lovely park with some recent commemorative markers and plaques.
We continued eastward around the island then crossed the bit of land connecting the big island of Tahiti with Tahiti Iti. The south side of Tahiti is a world away, more rural, less developed, and very beautiful. Our goal was Teahupo’o, an international surfing location and site of the Billabong Pro Tahiti championships. Hard to tell from this perspective that a major sporting event is starting two days from now.
When we got out to the beach we saw a community getting ready for the show. Local women were weaving the side panels for the medical station and athletes’ area. The camera crews were loading in, which involved ferrying gear by boat out to the big camera platforms on the reef. The break is quite a distance from the beach and much of the coverage will happen by small boat. On this day the surf was down.
Check out the Billabong Pro Tahiti site and see how this tranquil beach gets transformed into a surfer madhouse just two days after our visit. The championships are still going on as of this posting and it’s fun to watch. We’re sorry we didn’t get to see any surfing, but we loved the location. (Thanks to my surfer cousin Joey Riday for the tip.)