A load of yachties from Jacana, Kailana, Blue Heron and Duncan from a superyacht, bumped and thumped our way up the lush Papenoo Valley in the back tray of Patrick Adventure four wheel drive.
The bridges were narrow
The roads were suss
With the odd tunnel thrown in.
Waterfalls abounded. In the wet the mountains are wall to wall waterfalls. Tahiti never has a water shortage.
The valleys are lush, the hills incredibly steep and crumbly - too dangerous to climb.
The interior is almost deserted. Used to be 10,000 odd people lived there, nowadays there is no one.
We were very lucky to see this endemic orchid, that has not been some for some time. It only lives in this valley.
"Alors, Voila", as our guide said..... interminably.
Birds of Tahiti
Everything is quiet. It is rare to hear the song of a bird.
There are few species here and introduced animals and birds have culled the natives.
Ratus ratus loves eggs. The common minor was introduced to eat pests but is bullying the locals out of their terrain.
The introduced Swamp Harrier is cutting a swarthe through the endemics.
The Red Vented Bulbul
In the towns, the common minor, the introduced Red Vented Bulbul and the Chestnut Breasted Munia make up the numbers.
In the interior we saw the Grey Green fruit Pigeon and the Tahiti Swiftlet, both endemic to French Polynesia.