There are two things I tend to avoid during international travel - public phones and driving. I managed the public phones in Tahiti well enough (after that first mishap) and was surprised with a crazy drive on my last night.

Sam picked me up about 2 hours after my ferry from Moorea landed. During that time, I got a veal dinner at the local square filled with roulettes (food vans). Yes, a cut off the animal in the photo is what I ate (with french fries). Sam had to transport his motorcycle from his old house to his new, and he needed me to drive his VW Polo. We headed out of Papeete toward his old house, in the dark, after an hour’s rain. The highway part was fine, however we then pulled onto a local road that began to climb up what felt like a mountain. I mean I could feel my ears pop on the way up. He swerved all over to miss potholes (one of the reasons he moved), and broken branches and leaves were strewn all over the wet asphalt. We then hit a stretch of dirt road, where the street lights stopped, and he navigated multiple hairpin turns. Finally, we reached the apex of whatever we were climbing, whereupon there was a house with a view of the distant twinkling lights below.

By the time we reached the top, my nerves were going AWOL.

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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