We arrived at the Papeete Airport in Tahiti on Friday at 5:30 AM local time. After a quick bite to eat and short layover, we were on our way to Rangiroa. Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. The Tuamotu Archipelago are a chain of islands and atolls in French Polynesia. They form the largest chain of atolls in the world, spanning an area of the Pacific Ocean roughly the size of Western Europe.
French Polynesia is made up of 118 total islands, of which, 71 are uninhabited.
Ok enough history.
We boarded this regional prop plane for the short 1 hour flight from Papeete to Rangiroa
View from 20,000 feet of one of the hundreds of motu (motu, is Polynesian for an islet, which is a very small landform with water on all sides, consisting mainly of rock, with no or minimal vegetation and uninhabited)
Getting to our resort required a short 5 minute bus ride. And after an hour or so, we were checked into our room. A private villa, accompanied with a completely private outdoor area with private pool, sun deck, shower and tub. We stayed at the Kia Ora Resort and Spa.
We spent the rest of our first day just lounging around, exploring and taking pictures. It was somewhat surreal. Hard to imagine a place like this exists on our earth.
We rented bikes our second day. Pavement uneven, we explored and rode into town, stopping along the way to admire the island’s beauty. There is no public transportation on the island, so you are on your own. Rangiroa’s only road crosses six bridges, none of them with guard rails.
After 3 hours of riding, it was time to fish. I decided to pass on the rather expensive 2 hour (one way) guided boat ride to fish the flats for bonefish. I ventured out on my own instead…for free. As expected, I wasn’t able to fish from the shores of the resort. But it didn’t take me but a few minutes to be off resort property and free to fish.
I could not believe how clear the water was
Not sure what species but I caught a bunch. They were a pain to de-hook.
Taking a break
Clousers took a beating
Sting rays too
Cool fishing boat from one of the locals
Traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe. An important part of the Polynesian heritage and are raced in Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand.
I got spooled twice, half way through my backing. Leader broke off both times. Not sure what it was, but let’s just say I missed a GT to keep the story interesting.
These outrigger canoes can haul ass
A place to spend way too much money
Villa 21, Rori
Big pile of coconuts
What did we do the rest of the time? Well, all sorts of stuff, including adventures on Bora Bora’s beautiful lagoons, and out in the deep blue South Pacific. But more on that tomorrow!