The neighbour and twin of Tahaa is the island of Raiatea, because both islands have a common lagoon. According to legends, Raiatea is a kind of cradle of Polynesian civilization – it is said to be a place from which the Polynesians sailed on their canoes to colonize the surrounding archipelagoes. We visit the most prominent marae of Polynesia, “Taputapuatea”, from where the crew on seven canoes set out and colonized New Zealand. In Polynesian culture, marae had a broad spiritual and social significance – it was a temple, a place of important meetings and, last but not least, a ceremonial place.
For me, the main magnet of the island is its inland – I intend to climb Mt. Temehani, on whose western slopes Tiare apetahi grows. About a meter high white flowering plant grows only here, nowhere else in the world. The path is sometimes overgrown, but the Polynesian jungle is not dangerous, there is hardly any other place in the tropical zone where you can afford to walk barefoot through the woods.