in travelfeed •  9 months ago  (edited)

4 Walks From Hotel Le Mahana – Part 4

Ia'ora'na! "Ia'ora'na" is a greeting you will hear countless times per day in French Polynesia. It means "hello," "hi," or "how are you" and is pronounced yorra-nah! So, Ia'ora'na! How are you?

I don't know about you, but when I visit a place, I'm anxious to see it through the eyes of the people who live there. That's one reason that we explore and walk on our own as much as possible. (The other reason is to keep fit and to work off the excess of good food that we inevitably consume!) Organized tours have a place, don't get me wrong! But, with Huahine being such a small island (rather a couple of islands joined by a small bridge) exploring on your own makes a lot of sense.

Well, unless you want to take an ATV tour into the mountains, but we did that on Moorea and we decided to mix up the experiences on each island we visited in French Polynesia. We could have taken a boat tour of the lagoon, but there were so many interesting spots we could hike to that we decided to explore in that fashion for a few days and then on the last day to rent a car and do a grand tour of both Huahine-Nui (Big Huahine) and Huahine-Iti (Small Huahine.)

Ia'ora'na from Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

I will write about the car tour in my last and final post about Houhine, but in this post I'm taking you on a walk that is off the beaten track for tourists. Remember the little church we visited in my last post? I told you that one of the members of the congregation suggested we take a walk to a place the villagers go when they are seeking solitude – a place that is not signposted from the road! Our kind of place! That's the beauty of being a traveler rather than a tourist; you get to meet the people, and they share things about their life and culture, and quite often like this time, they tell us of places to visit.

Let's walk, shall we? Once more we headed in the direction of Marae Anini, which I wrote about in Part 1 of our walks from Hotel Le Mahana and also in the direction of the village of Parea,which I wrote about in my last post.. And once more, we had the road to ourselves, apart from a couple of fellow travelers, that is.

Fellow travelers on the road to Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Our directions were to look for an opening in the trees across from the Marae Anini, and through a pumpkin field! We didn't see anything that looked like a pumpkin “field” as such, but looking closely at this photo, I believe those are pumpkin vines hanging from the tree branches, but I may be mistaken!

The pathway was strewn with leaves, but thankfully there was a handrail for most of the way up.

Pathway up hill at Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

When we reached this divide in the track, there was no signpost telling us which way to proceed, but the handrails on the path to the left made the decision easy! Although, we were a bit tempted to take "the road less traveled."

Divided pathway on hill at Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

The climb to the top was definitely worthwhile. Not only did we get a fabulous view of the lagoon and Motu Araara (the small island you can see), but we were delighted to find that this spot had been lovingly enhanced with flowers and art by the villagers of Parea. It was quite unexpected, and a pleasant surprise! As you can see from this panorama shot, they call themselves Team Parea, showing the pride they have in their community.

Panorama from hilltop at Parea on Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

They thought of everything – even a shelter from the hot sun and the rain. It had two long benches inside, and the day we were there, a couple of young mothers with their babies were enjoying a break in the shelter.

Shelter on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

The day we climbed that little hill was our 25th wedding anniversary, so one of the young mothers obliged us by taking our photo with the word “Team” behind us and a view of the lagoon and the motu.

Jim and I on the hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Following are a few shots showing some of the artwork and flowers on the hill.

Red heart of stones, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

View from the hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Hanging decoration, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Carved shark on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

I'm not sure if this is actually a quote from Walt Disney or not. It's in French and says:

“Dream your life in Color. It's the secret of good luck.”

Walt Disney quote on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Carving of large coloring pencils on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

The branches on the right are made to make an arch and marks another way up and down the hill. We discovered that this would have been an easier way to come up as it was shorter, and there were many steps at intervals cut out of the soil! Oh well, we enjoyed the climb!

Hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Branches form an arch on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

Jim on pathway on hilltop, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

This is the view you would see as you reached the top if you came up the hill by this route.

Steps on the hill, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

We came across a couple of bicycles parked at about half way up the hill on our descent. No need for chains and locks here!

Bikes on the hill, Parea, Huahine

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

(I found an excuse here to throw in funky edits #funkeyedits, and Wednesday walk #wednesdaywalk tags for @tattoodjay! Thanks for creating those!)

I am a professional photographer, and many of my images are available as stock or as fine art on prints and on various products. Check out my portfolio website on Adobe and you will find links to all the places where my work is available. If you see something you would like to purchase in any of my posts, but can't find it anywhere on the stock or art sites, please let me know.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed hiking with me to this hilltop at Parea on Huahine, French Polynesia, you may want to check out my other posts in this series:

French Polynesia – A State Of mind

Moorea French Polynesia – First Impressions And The Resort

Moorea - French Polynesia – Bali Hai

French Polynesia – Next Stop Huahine

7 Things To Do At Hotel Le Mahana

4 Walks From Hotel Le Mahana – Part 1

4 Walks From Hotel Le Mahana – Part 2

4 Walks From Hotel Le Mahana – Part 3

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I appreciate the Resteem! Thanks!

Wow, people there do take care of how the place looks. Or so it seems, at least. Thanks for sharing your experience there!

They do seem to take pride in their communities. We saw very little trash anywhere we went. Thanks for stopping by ad commenting!

  ·  9 months ago (edited)

I loved it...all the colors. Voting power too low, so !tipuvote

Thanks! I really appreciate the tip!

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Wow! I love the way they decorated the hill, so colourful!!

I to love to explore places i visit and get off the beaten track and I feel I have done hat here through your post such a beautiful island the blues are amazing and so is some of the cool art, I cant think of a eater place t be for a special occasion Ike your 25th Anniversary :)

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa

Thanks ! I always appreciate your company on my journeys! I am enjoying taking artistic license with my images. 😊

And why not take artistic licence with them there your images so you should do whatever you wat :)

Thanks! Yes! Photography does not finish when you press the shutter button. There is always a time and a place for totally realistic photography, but it is also an art form. It’s the art of seeing and what you want to convey.

Years ago I took classes in Corel Painter and learned how to use my photographs simply as something to be traced and painted with individual paint strokes using the Wacom stylus as a paint brush. The portrait photography I did was almost always transformed into a true digital painting, because my niche market were people who wanted something different.

Nowadays there are loads of apps that kind of simulate the look, but what I learned to do back then was what artists for centuries have done-using somethin to trace while painting!!

I should go back to do some of those again. I really enjoyed it. I don’t have the full blown Painter anymore, but I do have a lite version!!

I only ever played with coral painter briefly but have seen the work some do with it, it is a cool way to turn a photo into a different style work of art, maybe you should try it again sometime, I think its good t have fun with what we do with photos of course some or most call for it to be realistic, but its good sometimes just to have fun and be creative

It's strange I mentioned Painter, because a friend of mine just said in a text that she wanted to go back to doing Painter again! We both have enough material in our files to keep us going a lifetime and more! LOL!

Then you should definitely go for it and have fun at the same time

It looks to be a lovely place to visit, by looking at the landscape it appears to be windy so I would imagine early morning walks would be more suitable than going out in the afternoons.

Thanks for stopping by to comment. It was windy a lot of the time we were there. It wasn’t too windy that day though. It may have been a bit breezy, but nothing too noticeable. What you are seeing are the effects of a 15mm very wide angle lens. 😊

Effects may be wide angle lens in photography, over here trees grow like that when facing winds off the sea, actually quite unusual seeing some old trees standing in a permanently leaning position.

Yes, some of them were like that closer to the lagoon, and in Scotland some trees are almost horizontal. The tree line in Scotland is only about 500 feet because of the wind.

Resilient trees manage to hang on, even shorelines where the wind reshapes them.

Yes. I love the twisty gnarled ones, don't you?

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Thanks! 😊

Such a magnificent post @dmcamera Superb scenery and photography so beautifully presented with attractive framing. Belated best wishes for your 25th Wedding Anniversary. You will always remember this special one won't you? (U & R )

Thanks so much! Yes, this was a very special anniversary. WE visited Fiji or our 10th, but don't want to wait another 15 years for our next special one lol!