From Kaeuhi we had a day's motoring without wind to Fakarava atoll, which
has the second largest
lagoon in the Tuamotus, 1,121 sq. km, and a population of about 500.
The lagoon is 60 km long
north to south, and 25 km from east to west, so it is a vast inland sea
with a pass at the north end
which we came in and another pass in the south.
I am not sure of exactly how many motus are situated around the reef, but
it would exceed 50, the
longest being 40 km long and about 500 metres average width. At no
place are you more than 3 or
4 metres above sea level.
We anchored first at Rotoava, which is the main village, situated at the
north end of the atoll.
The village is quiet, and although there is an airport with a flight to
Tahiti a couple of times a week,
there are few tourists, most of whom come for the diving.
The outer side of the motu on calm day.
This lady is drilling holes in black pearls.
Some visitors don't have to rely on buses or taxis. The helicopter
alone would be worth more than all
the other boats in the anchorage.
We travelled down to the south end of the atoll, where there are two small
resorts and two scuba
The restaurant at one of the resorts. Accommodation and food is
basic, but not cheap, and most of
the customers, if not all, are here for scuba diving.
This is hao, which is the opening between two motus, but too shallow to be
The old village was quite large, but is now mostly abandoned. This
was the main street.
A traditional Polynesion house, a rarity these days.
Coral grave stones in the cemetery.
Beautifly inlaid mother of pear on the altar of the church.
Looking out the southern pass.