We've just spent the last month touring remote atolls we'd hardly heard of let alone knew how to pronounce - Kauehi, Fakarava, Rangiroa - sparsely populated from deserted to 4 to 400! Atolls are sunken volcanoes, whose edges have been built up with coral to create inner lagoons. Some can be entered through narrow passages but only at specific times, as the in/outgoing water can create huge waves and super fast currents making them dangerous. As a result they are rarely visited. Top navigating Andy!!
But oh what unbelievable gems, crystal clear water, combined with abundant marine life creating aquarium swimming opportunities. Made extra special by the incredible people who readily share their basis of life, coconuts, fish and pearls 'almost' freely with such warm openness you instantly fall into a dream like state of chilled ness. Mathieu, Agnes and baby Honey Hanavee fed us, toured us and simply shared their life on Fakarava. Gaston on Toau took us fishing, well, running full pelt, thigh deep, across coral reefs chasing parrot fish into nets, exhilaratingly bizarre. Cooked and served that night by his wife the indomitable Valentina, overlooking the lagoon, quite exceptional. Her parents settled on uninhabited Toau some forty years earlier to escape parental pressures, now with Gaston and two relatives she feeds sailors and trades fish.
We dived the Kauehi pass with live aboard dive master Gary. Big big Napoleon fish. Then tackled the Fakarava South Passage, facing the famous wall of sharks, with Eric the inattentive ever so French dive leader! Hundreds of black tip sharks thankfully just resting and cleaning their gills pointing into the current, spectacular, scary and sensually unique. Snorkelling doesn't normally make a highlight but this was one 'of a life time', flying without wings through the Rangiroa pass travelling 3 miles in almost as many minutes, across wonderful coral, huge grins, wide eyes, totally exhilarating.
So the Tuamotus, unexpected adventures, some relaxing, BBQs on deserted atolls shared with hermit crabs and a friendly chicken well just unique and unforgettable.
Now in Tahiti, soon to be joined by Tilly and boyfriend Matt to explore the Leeward Islands .... thank you for sticking with us and hope you are all well .....
The Meteorite Crew
Debbie, Hugh, Janice and Andy