Mangareva, the largest and main island in the Gambiers has wonderful mountains, ridges, trails and paths to explore. So, we spend a few days hiking across Magareva.
Pt. Mataiutea Hike
The first “hike” for the new year was actually a very gentle 7.2 mile walk along a road. Good for me as I had not exercised in a long time and needed to ease into it again. Even though it was long, it was mostly flat and very easy. We walked along the main road which turned into a dirt road which hugged the coast line along the water’s edge. It was super pretty, a little breezy, and just what I needed to start the new year.
7-Miles Across 3 Trails
We took Kirimiro to Taku (Pt Teauorogo) to Chemin Ramapiko. We decided to tackle the hardest incline first so we started on Chemin Kirimiro (which is across the street from the best magasin on the island, JoJo’s). It is a steep and consistent incline that leads you to Arc de Triomphe de Kirimiro. Half way up the first part of the hike we had a beautiful view of the Rikitea anchorage.
Fun photo of the Arc where we have had the pleasure of visiting before.
From here you can walk the ridge to the left or right. You can also go under and through the arc and continue down to the small village of Kirimiro which is what we did. Once we got to Kirimiro, we turned right and walked along the road for 2.1 miles until we got to another small village (meaning 3 houses) called Apeakava. On the road we came across this local transporting a banana tree on a moped!
Further down the road, we came across a rocky cliff. Matt discovered a hidden gem inside the rock’s ledge. A baby boobie.
We passed several old ruins that were once mighty and majestic.
From here we hiked up and down the Chemin Taku trail which connects with Chemin Ramapiko and leads you back to another road. From there is was a short 1.2 mile walk back to the dinghy dock.
Looking at the map below, we stared just below the little below the small, blue image of a ship, then walked up to Arc de Triomphe de Kirimiro, down the dotted trail to the white road. Followed the white road to Apeakava (where the dots are), across the trail to the gold star and then back down to the blue image ship.
The French Navy Arrives
The Bouganville is a French Navy war ship that travels around French Polynesia ensuring the waters are safe for travel. We had the pleasure of touring this fascinating vessel in Makemo (click here to read about the tour). Our friend Stephan had alerted us of the Navy ships arrival and asked us to clear the channel of all cruising boats. We did, but that was 3 days before they arrived. The day before the ship’s arrival, two French cruising boats anchored right in the channel. The French will do what the French will do. The ship had to maneuver around them to get to the dock. But with massive bow thrusters and fancy engineering they made it without incident.
The ship was only here for 1 day and did not allow for any tours. Must have been a shore break for the crew.
We left Rikitea and headed toward Taravai to prepare for my birthday party! It is always a serene and stunning anchorage. We visited Valerie, Herve, Alan, and Ariki and procured lots of fresh produce. Herve was being silly and strategically placed a rather large cucumber…. And we came across a humongous pig.
We were blessed with sunset that streaked across the sky.
Events from this blog post occurred in January 2021. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.