Friday, September 30, 2011

The Hike to the top of Bora Bora by Josh

The hike to the top of Bora Bora (aka THE true hike true hell)

As you can guess I did a hike, real surprise there. My family and I were in Bora Bora and we heard about a hike to one of the peaks. My dad being a seasoned hike from hell picker says, “Let’s do it”. The reasons why I did it: I would never hear the end of it if I didn’t go; My friend Jayce who I had recently met was going to do it; We heard some 11 year old girl had done it (that’s why I would never hear the end of it) and I liked a challenge. Bora Bora had three peaks, the highest peak was all cliffs and even with climbing equipment it was volcanic so the rock was crumbly and you couldn’t climb it. The second highest was thirty-five feet higher than the smallest peak. We went to the smallest peak which was 2300 ft high, so it was still really high.
The people going on the hike were my mom and dad, Jayce, our friends Doug and Carla, and I. We all got up at 8:00, to me it felt like 6:00 and it could’ve been for fast I was moving. The fun of it all started before we even got on land. From the anchorage to town and the trailhead was about a mile or two and we had Jayce in our dinghy. With the added weight it was too much for the sacrificial rubber ring on the prop. We were trying to get on a plane and all of a sudden we were going much slower. The ring was there so if something like that happened you don’t lose the gear box and the prop. You still have to replace the prop but it lets you go slow to get to where you’re going. We still went to the hike and Doug and Carla would stick with us on the way back. What a great way to start the day.
 We got to the dinghy dock and got some more food from the store. We got all set and on our way, at first we were along a road through some houses then it turned into the trail. We heard that is was a good idea to get a guide so we wondering how we did that when a local guy standing on the side of the trail near the start just started walking with us, problem solved. My mom and Carla only went for the first tiny bit of it and then turned around to get to the store to get some beer before it stopped selling alcohol. The guide we had was probably around 60 to 65 years old and wore cheap $2 flip flops and he was just casually walking. My friend and I were 13 and 14, had good shoes on, and were doing everything we could to keep up with him. Since we really couldn’t keep up with him he waited for us. My dad and Doug were slower than us so at one point we went ahead because we could easily see the trail and we were careful. I would say that the first part of the trail was around 45 or 50 degrees steep and some places where they had ropes were about 60 to 70 degrees. The second part of the trail was steeper or it just seemed so because we were so high but I’m pretty sure it was steeper.  There were a lot of trees on the side of the trail so there were roots and oh my god I love roots because they were sturdy handholds and sometimes like ladders. On the first place with ropes we were freaking out like “are you sure it’s THAT way” but it wasn’t that bad. During that hike I am pretty sure I broke the world record of how many times you could say the word terrify in any form. I’m sure Jayce wanted to strangle me because I was saying it so much.
When we finally made it to the top it was all worth it by far. We were 2300 ft off the water and had 330 or 340 degrees of clear view around us. We met some people on the way up who said it wasn’t good it was amazing and I would say it wasn’t amazing it was absolutely spectacular. Just below the top we ran into a couple who were from Detroit and had gotten engaged a few days before while they were in Bora Bora. The couple joked that for their honeymoon they would go to mars to top Bora Bora. We spent a pretty long time up there to rest and just look.
When everybody finished taking pictures we all thought “crap now we have to go back down”. In my opinion it was longer and worse because I slid on my butt down a lot of it. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I stepped down and my leg visibly shook, so next time I sat down to rest I stuffed my face with some peanuts that I brought and it got better. The food may have made me feel better but it didn’t make anything less terrifying. I find it funny that we thought it was scary going up the ropes, until we had to go down them. Jayce and I had gone ahead again and we stopped every once and a while and waited for my dad and Doug with the guide. As we got farther down it got easier and we were going faster so we went on ahead. We were so happy that we were done that we went straight to the store and bought some water and snacks to tide us over until we got back to the boat. Overall it took Jayce and me 5 hours and took my dad and Doug 6 hours.
Doug said it was the hardest hike he had ever done, for me it was the scariest I had ever done and right up there with the hardest. Over the summer my dad earned the title of, “not allowed to pick anymore hikes” and only one of them was harder. When we got to the boat we all jumped in the water to clean off and cool off. I took the next couple of days off from doing anything. I decided that no matter what, I wasn’t doing any hikes for another two months and banned my dad permanently from picking hikes.

Here is some visualization

                                                          70 deg     60 deg           45 deg

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