Thank you Tahiti Nui! (part 3)

 

 

 

I n case you’ve read “Hitchhiking around the Society Islands (part 2)”, you might remember that Yannic, who could speak a bit of English, went to ask the Captain of Tahiti Nui ferry if I could hitchhike his ferry to Bora Bora. The Captain said yes and I couldn’t believe my luck!

 

What I didn’t know at that time was that this ferry was FREE for everyone who was planning to follow the Hawaiki Nui Va’a  canoe race! French Polynesian government made the ferry free from Tahiti to Bora Bora until the end of the race. IN OTHER WORDS, IF I KNEW THAT EARLIER, I COULD HAVE HITCHHIKED IT – STRESS FREE – FROM TAHITI ALL THE WAY TO BORA BORA, but I didn’t have a clue that something like that even existed, so I bugged everyone around me to hitchhike between 6 different islands…!

 

That was the view from the ferry while we were anchored on Tahaa Island. That "bump" across the water is Bora Bora.
That was the view from the ferry while we were anchored on Tahaa Island. That "bump" across the water is Bora Bora.

 

I’m kind of glad I didn’t know about Tahiti Nui, otherwise I probably wouldn’t visit any of the islands that were on the way to Bora and meet their good hearted residents.

 

Aaanyways…

 

My new buddy from the ferry, Yannic, invited me to stay with his family in Bora Bora for as long as I wanted. I thought, WOW, could my day get any efing better?! First, I hitchhiked 2 ferries in 1 day and now I have free accommodation on one of the most expensive islands on Earth?! The best part was that I didn’t even ask for it. I thought...ohh, it must be my lucky day!!!

 

In the morning, the ferry followed the race from Raiatea to Tahaa Island and we stayed there the whole day until the evening. Yannic told me to stay on the ferry, because it was not clear what time the ferry is leaving from Tahaa to Bora Bora. After 7 hours of anchoring, the engines were finally on and we arrived to Bora Bora at 10 in the evening.

 

The moment before stepping on Bora Bora.
The moment before stepping on Bora Bora.

 

It was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but we arrived to Bora Bora and my heart was about to jump out of my chest. I told Yannic that I wanted to meet the Captain and thank him; I wanted to take more shots of the ferry, French kiss the ground, hug everyone…  Yannic said there was no time for that. I was happy as efing Larry, but there was no one to share my joy with as Yannic seemed completely uninterested.

 

I told myself that it was ok…I could celebrate later and should be grateful to have the roof above my head for the night. Everything seemed fantastic until I came to Yannic’s home and met the family. What Yannic “forgot” to tell me was that he doesn’t get along with his family and that they have many unresolved issues. Everything started when Yannic introduced his son’s wife as his son’s girlfriend to me… immediately there was a loud fight that went on and on. Yannic decided to sleep in his daughter’s house and told me I could stay in his son’s house for as long as I wanted, because that was actually not his son’s house, but his own. I felt very uncomfortable and said I’ll leave in the morning as soon as the sun comes up. Yannic said their fight had nothing to do with me and that I should stay as long as I wanted… and then he left to his daughter’s house?!

 

An hour later, Yannic’s daughter showed up in the house (without Yannic) and started bombarding me with questions as if she was a police officer. In all of my years on the road, no one has ever questioned me in such uncomfortable way. I couldn’t believe I was having such a bad experience the 1st night I arrived to Bora Bora. Instead of celebrating the end of my long journey, I had to defend myself in front of the girl whose father invited me into the house. Really stupid position to be in!

 

My bed in Yannic's house.
My bed in Yannic's house.

 

I felt super emotional because I was SOOO HAPPY to be on Bora Bora and in the same time I felt so sad and angry because of the current situation. I was answering her questions while crying and laughing in the same time. I felt like a crazy woman, but couldn’t hold all the emotions.

 

Yannic’s daughter said that he told her how I was robbed and lost all of my documents and money and that was the reason I ended up in their house.

Wait, WHAT?!

 

I told the girl that was not true and explained my whole story. I told her if she doesn’t believe me, she should google my name and find lots of interviews about my hitchhiking mission. In almost 4 years on the road, I’ve never been robbed. She was in shock and became much softer towards me.  I said I was really tired and this whole experience was super awkward and uncomfortable and that I’ll be gone tomorrow with the sunrise. Suddenly, she tried to persuade me to stay, but I told her straight away that was not going to happen. I prefer to stay on the beach with the sand-flies and mosquitoes much rather over unfriendly humans.

 

I skyped my family before going to bed, but they were all at work. Finally, I managed to get hold of my brother and that made me very happy. All I wanted was to share the joy of completing my mission and to hear “well fucking done!” from somebody. 😀 My brother didn’t disappoint.

 

Bora Bora and I didn’t start right, but hearing my brother gave me much needed peace. He said “Try to understand Yannic’s daughter… what would you think if some Polynesian chick shows up at your door in Soblinec at night, and while crying and laughing in the same time, she is telling you how she has been hitchhiking for almost 4 years to get to Soblinec (my village). You would also think she was motherefing crazy, no?”

He had a point.

 

Aaaanyways…

 

I was gone with the 1st sunray even though this strange family was still trying to persuade me to stay with them.

 

Hitchhiking around Bora Bora in a pickup truck is the best feeling ever!
Hitchhiking around Bora Bora in a pickup truck is the best feeling ever!

 

I remembered pastor Hiro’s advice to stay with his friend (part 1) and decided to find the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church was closed, because it was very early in the morning, so I sat in front of the door and ate the mangoes in order to make my backpack a bit lighter. 30 min later I saw a local woman looking at me from the street and she brought me 4 more mangoes. I told her that was really unnecessary as I was trying to make my bag lighter and now I’m stuck with 4 more mangoes. She laughed and asked what I was waiting for. I told her the story. She said she was a member of the church and that she knows pastor Hiro as well as his friend who I was looking for. She said that guy is usually very busy with the church and invited me to stay with her family. Just like that!!!

 

Amazing woman Regina who literally picked me up from the street and took me into her home.
Amazing woman Regina who literally picked me up from the street and took me into her home.

 

I thought it probably couldn’t get much worse than my 1st night on Bora Bora and accepted her offer. Little did I know that Regina and her family were the nicest people AND that they live on a famous Matira Beach.

 

That’s Regina’s terrace. We took all the beds out and slept on the terrace, because there were no mosquitoes and the weather was too perfect to sleep in the house.
That’s Regina’s terrace. We took all the beds out and slept on the terrace, because there were no mosquitoes and the weather was too perfect to sleep in the house.

 

That was the view from Regina’s kitchen table. I Skyped with my mom from that table and showed her the stingrays that were swimming in the shallow. The water is so clear that you can see every stingray from the window.
That was the view from Regina’s kitchen table. I Skyped with my mom from that table and showed her the stingrays that were swimming in the shallow. The water is so clear that you can see every stingray from the window.

 

Guess what else was on Matira Beach that day?

 

THE END OF THE CANOE RACE! Yes, I actually managed to get to Bora Bora the night before the end of the race and the winners were expected to cross the finish line around 10 a.m.

 

I could see them coming from the window of “my new house”! :))

 

Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe race at Matira Beach.
Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe race at Matira Beach.

 

Ohh the joy and happiness…

 

Enjoy the rest of the pics!

 

My plan was to arrive to Bora Bora together with the winners of the amazing Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe race, so that we could celebrate together, but I had no idea how I will do that while hitchhiking from island to island. At the end, I arrived to Bora Bora on the 3rd of November, one day ahead of them!
My plan was to arrive to Bora Bora together with the winners of the amazing Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe race, so that we could celebrate together, but I had no idea how I will do that while hitchhiking from island to island. At the end, I arrived to Bora Bora on the 3rd of November, one day ahead of them! :))

 


Beautiful Polynesian woman.

 

Finish line!
Finish line!

 

I fell in love with the way the islands' residents (women AND men) wear the flowers in their hair or behind their ear EVERY DAY. The most beautiful to me is the fact that Polynesian women wear very little or no makeup at all. The flowers are the only thing that enhances their natural beauty. I refused to wear any makeup in the last 3 years (even when working, celebrating or going on dates) and it’s incredible to be in the country that honors the same values.
I fell in love with the way the islands' residents (women AND men) wear the flowers in their hair or behind their ear. The most beautiful to me is the fact that Polynesian women wear very little or no makeup at all. The flowers are the only thing that enhances their natural beauty. I refused to wear any makeup in the last 3 years (even when working, celebrating or going on dates) and it’s incredible to be in the country that honors the same values.

 

Every canoe that finished the race was greeted by the sound of drums.
Every canoe that finished the race was greeted by the sound of drums.

 

One of the Hawaiki Nui Va’a racers.
One of the Hawaiki Nui Va’a racers.

 

I was thinking about you guys. Good view, no?
I was thinking about you guys. Good view, no? :))

 

I was thinking about you girls. Good view, no?
I was thinking about you girls. Good view, no? :))

 

Interesting fact… when they finish the race, the women climb up their canoes and literally throw themselves at them. I think they have a similar status as the soccer players in my country.
Interesting fact… when they finish the race, the women climb up their canoes and literally throw themselves at them. I think they have a similar status as the soccer players in my country.

 

Interesting fact… do you remember Puarai –> the fisherman who gave me lift from Papeete, hosted me in Raiatea and dropped me off on Huahine Island? His canoe team won the race!!! (That must have happened because he picked up a hitchhiker that brings IMMEDIATE good luck and fortune to everyone’s life!) :)))))))))))
Interesting fact… do you remember Puarai –> the fisherman who gave me lift from Papeete, hosted me in Raiatea and dropped me off on Huahine Island? His canoe team won the race!!! (That must have happened because he picked up a hitchhiker that brings IMMEDIATE good luck and fortune to everyone’s life!) :)))))))))))

 

Absolutely stunning Matira Beach.
Absolutely stunning Matira Beach.

 

Hello Polynesia!
Hello Polynesia!

 

Drumming session at the beach.
Drumming session at the beach.

 

The busiest day of the year at Matira Beach.
The busiest day of the year at Matira Beach.

 

The race from Regina's house where I was staying at.
The race from Regina's house where I was staying at.

 

Beautiful Polynesian lady.
Beautiful Polynesian lady.

 

While I was watching the finishing race of Hawaiki Nui Va’a, I got hugged by this woman and it took me few minutes to figure out that was a lady who picked me up while I was hitchhiking around Raiatea Island. I couldn’t recognize her in a swimsuit AND on a completely different island. :)))
While I was watching the finishing race of Hawaiki Nui Va’a, I got hugged by this woman and it took me few minutes to figure out that was a lady who picked me up while I was hitchhiking around Raiatea Island. I couldn’t recognize her in a swimsuit AND on a completely different island. :)))

 

Bora Bora kid eating churro.
Bora Bora kid eating churro.

 

The island of big smiles.
The island of big smiles.

 

The other side of Matira Beach.
The other side of Matira Beach.

 

Hawaiki Nui Va’a racer.
Hawaiki Nui Va’a racer.