My second stop in the Australes was Tubuai, the place to kite as I found on the kitesurf website of Tahiti-kitesurf.
I went to the same guesthouse as proposed by the author since the kitesurf started to be a family affair, pension vaiteanui. When I arrived of course, it was only windy in the morning when the plane landed. By the beginning of the afternoon when I had my lunch, dropped my bags, got a bike and prepared my gears to go to the beach, no more wind...
The wind is hiding again! I went back to leave my gears and went for a tour of the area instead. I stopped by the weather station building and talked for at least one hour with the guy about the wind condition as well as the life on the island. Very interesting guy and I learned a lot about the island since he came the first time about 25 years ago.
Due to this long discussion I missed the triathlon organized on the island. I didn’t plan to participate but I wished to take some pictures. There were only some kids left playing around and other people training in the pirogue.
But then came the day, the real day! I spent the morning talking at the guesthouse with Wilson Doom, the president of the kitesurfing association in French Polynesia and could hear the wind blowing the palm trees leafs. I had to kind of cut the conversation because I was getting afraid it would be as yesterday and I would miss the wind. I jumped on my bike and went to look at different spots to start and went out from the wharf finally. Well, I couldn’t stay upwind with my kite as the swell was too big for this not so strong wind. I drifted all the way down to another small escape beach where I managed to get down my kite without stucking it into a tree. There isn’t much space between the lagoon and the trees, like 2-3 meters of beach. I packed everything and went in search for a lunch and ate it while feeling if the wind was getting stronger or not.
Tubuai is a small island so I quickly get the short reputation of being the kitesurfer on the island, the non-local one since there are plenty of locals kiting. One of them came to meet me, Hiro, and I explained what the wind wasn’t great at the wharf. He proposed to load my bike in his truck and to drive me to another spot with sideshore wind what might be stronger, and it was! What an awesome spot
He helped me to launch my kite and watched me during my session. The wind was pretty good and I could start to work on my wakeboard kick jump style. The color of the water was almost as great as on Raivavae. I wished I wasn't alone to go out to the reef to play with the waves. Thanks Hiro for showing me the right spot!
The day after, well the wind was gone but it was the occasion to go for a bike circuit around the island where I could meet some locals. I stopped and talked with a young guy with a wicked looking car, the only one like this on the island ;) He's not kiting but doing the BBQ while the others are kiting... What a life!
I didn't make all the way around but took the middle road to get back to town and to see the pirogue race going on that I heard about from the locals. So here are a few shots of the islands, enjoy.
A local house
Moutains! It's a high island as they called it
A window over Polynesia, who doesn't wish such a view ?
Inside the island
Greetings after the race
At the guest house, I spoke a lot with Heinui and Boris, the owners. They told me where to find a bike, where were the kite spots depending on the direction of the wind. They also introduced me to Wilson and would have introduced me as well to the other kiters but they were all gone or injured. It was very interesting to hear about their life and how they came to the island to run the guesthouse, as well as the stories of the island. For one diner we had such a great Indo-Pacific sailfish, sooo good! Boris had so many crazy stories about his work experiences in France as a cook!
I left again the island felling that it was too short but it's definitively a really good kite destination so I will certainly be back there one day, to kite from Motu One :-)
All the pictures: http://photos.shakeyourlife.com/French%20Polynesia/Tubuai/