Edit Blog Post
Published: April 17th 2013
Once upon a time, in a beautiful blue ocean far, far away, there stood a family of rugged mountain volcanoes. But there was trouble in paradise. The villainous ocean insidiously attacked and eroded it’s volcanic inhabitants. With time, the mountain peaks relented to the ever punishing ocean and eventually sank away, leaving only perimeter rings of earth material as evidence of their former presence. With time, coral colonized on the land and grew to create strange looking ring shaped islands containing large protected lagoons within. As with all fairy tales though, this ends happily ever after. For within the lagoons, life once again became a paradise providing for all sorts of creatures.
Such was how we found existence on and around the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu islands. Warm, moist, and oh so colorful. Like Cinderella living out my own modern fairy tale, I had to pinch myself to believe I was really here! Blues and greens abound – enough to make a Feng Shui expert want to set up camp. When the island breeze glides through the coconut palms, a soothing sound like distant soft applause gently accompanies it. Aromas of coconut and perfume like tiare flowers
Our 30 year honeymoon shack
Loads of flowers bloomed daily providing beauty and privacy on the porch.
waft through the island air. This is a place where islanders struggle to voice or even think of what could be considered a “source of stress”. “Hmmm, maybe there is trouble when unwatched goods, unloaded from the boat, could be stolen. Sometimes there is theft.” Also, “delay in supplies by boat is sometimes a problem”. With only 800 inhabitants, too small for a gas station, islanders cooperate together to purchase fuel in tanks of 200L volume. Also, natural grown fruit and vegetable variety is small. Yet, fresh fish, coconut, and rainwater can always readily be found and much of the island can be traversed via bicycle or scooter. Compare these problems to those of my home area of Detroit…..painful even to begin to entertain such thoughts.
Like Fakarava’s human inhabitants, the marine and land living species are equally benign. “What do I need to fear?” I ask Joachim, the host of our pension. “Ah, really nothing. There are some nurse sharks and reef sharks who come to visit, but don’t be afraid.” Even the mosquitoes are easily dissuaded by lit coil in our open air, lagoon beachside hut. So, covered in sunscreen and high spf sportswear, we
Family owners of Havaiki pension
Joachim, Havaiki (her Tahitian name) and their daughter were a daily presence. They work very hard to provide their guests with a wonderful stay. Always cheerful.
explored paradise. There were sunrise mornings on the ocean (5 minute bike ride), sunset evenings on the lagoon, daytime snorkeling and exploration excursions, kayak and bike rides as far as our little arms and legs could take us, and always the feeling of complete freedom from time, danger or other such deterrents of life enjoyment. What better way to celebrate our 30 years of matrimonial bliss?
Fakarava is one of earth’s protected biosphere reserves. The strong ocean current which enters via the north and south passes of the island provides an atmosphere conducive to healthy coral growth. Blacktip sharks, humphead ”Napolean” wrasse, leopard rays, parrotfish, numerous colorful tiny fishes, giant morays, long trumpet fish, and Tahitian black pearl farms were some of the things we particularly enjoyed encountering. On one trip to the south pass, famous among those in the diving world, we found ourselves careening over the beautiful coral slope as multiple varieties of reef fish swam below us, sharks swam all around us – close enough to reach out and touch, and schools of surface fish swam along beside us. Our group of 12 snorkelers caught in a fast ocean freeway, swirling along with
"Meet me at the office" Anytime honey! We enjoyed lunches, shade, and just hanging out here. Water warm as a bath. Didn't even need a beach towel.
little control to change direction. Woo hoo!
For some, undoubtedly, Tahiti and Bora Bora could be considered the ultimate luxury beach vacation. And perhaps, someday we’ll return to French Polynesia to explore the Society Islands. But I am satisfied and so thankful to have chosen the less traveled path. I’m happy to have suffered the absence of AC, hot running water, cell phones, pools, and night clubs in order to just begin to experience in some small way the simpler life of paradise as begun so many millions of years ago when the mountain tops were exchanged for lagoons.
Tot: 0.809s; Tpl: 0.064s; cc: 13; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0243s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb