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Published: September 5th 2019
Here we are on the slow way to Fakarava, one of these end of the world very special place. We first had the 2 hours 45 minutes twice a week propeller from Rarotonga to Papeete. I have to admit, the ATR42 is wonderful for 60 minutes flight, but clearly not for over two hours.....but it was this or going back to NZ! We arrived in Papeete at 7pm, just behind the new United flight...and welcome back to France, they had only two agents to manage the queue...these are tourists paying big bucks to the local economy....could be wise to give them a first positive impression....but as I say, welcome to France!
We are staying for one night at the airport motel. Not a bad deal in a place that is nothing short of expensive. Next day, our flight is only at 2pm....so we went out for a snack in the evening...and for some solid shopping at the Carrefour, 3km walk from there in the morning. Was fun to be stop by the police to tell us to be careful....Sunday morning, 10am, main road....ok, they may not have been to South Africa before!
Truly fun to
tour the Carrefour supermarket. Price are high, but they import so much from France...I wish could could have space in our bags for some of the coming flights...but instead, it's more like window shopping. Shop we did, for all our fresh veggies...and what a good choice! If a kilo of tomatoes is around 2usd in Australia....here it's easy 7-8 usd per kg...and once in Fakarava....it's goes up to 10usd...and that's not the best choice either! So in we go with carrots, tomatoes, local eggplants, onions, local cucumber....the full monty! Yes, we made it to the Tuamutus with 12kg of food...and 4 bottles of wine, as well as my dive equipment!
The general belief is that French Polynesia is super expensive. Well, maybe Bora Bora (been there twice already)....but in the Tuamutus, if you are organized, it's more than ok. Our little hut cost us 60usd per night including breakfast....a clean share bathroom as well as a decent kitchen. We are here for 6 nights....the closest restaurant open at night is 3km away....great we have the stock to last.
Yes, you are going to tell me...island...fish...paradise to cook....Well, not really...took us 3 days to get
2 fillets of parrot fish! Let say the locals are not in a hurry for anything here...but we got them!
I'm lucky....Tanya loves to spend time on the beach....so she enjoyed the beach, and I went to dive. 4 days 2 dives each day at the North Pass, and a full day, 2 dives at the South Pass. Did dive this time with O2 diving. Very nice people....but it's August....I thought I could enjoy some whales with this 40 meters underwater visibility....instead...it was a lot of divers in the water.....welcome to August....with 80% Frenchs and 20% Italians...maybe next time we'll be back again in June! Who care for the whales, I got them at home!
Place is one or those top 10 dive sites in the world. This with the Tiputa Pass....to come next in Rangiroa. Water was 27 degrees....visibility some days well over 40 meters! Last time I dived with Serge from Switzerland, but they left the island few months after my first visit.
We will be back, but next time is 2 nights at the South Pass, 3 nights in Fakarava village....total of 4 days diving...and in June!
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