We know, we know – You are thinking, “Are they ever going to go to anywhere NEW???” All of these gorgeous atolls/islands/motus look much the same. It was our first time in Rangiroa, but it felt like an old friend as we walked across the island in 5 minutes (again) and wandered along the windward side again. It wasn’t as windy as Fakarava’s windy side, but nobody was laying out on the beach or snorkeling on that side, either. Everyone was on the calmer and prettier lagoon side, with pale, clear, jade-colored water and drooping palm trees.
Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second-largest in the world. Like a string of pearls, forming a circle, the atoll is 46 miles long and 15 miles wide, so large that the entire island of Tahiti could fit comfortably in its central lagoon. There are two major industries on Rangiroa in addition to its famous diving spots and other water sports, and one is very surprising. The first is pearl cultivation, and six of today’s ship excursions were to “Discover the World of Pearls.” They come in a range of colors here, from white to shades of gray to cultivated black pearls. The second largest industry – surprise! – is wine-making. The vineyards are on the edge of a lagoon beside coconut trees, and they produce two harvests per year.
We found, once again, that while the temperature is very hot, the people are very warm. All of the locals waved to us, said hello, and had big smiles. We passed by several homes that looked very inviting. Once again, the colors of the ocean are simply amazing, with a range of blues, jades, and turquoises. The clouds are white and look overstuffed, and the sky is a penetrating blue. Below are just a few of the 200 photos we took over a few hours. We also shared a sweet encounter with some children. All in all, a perfect day for wandering around French Polynesia.
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