Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
For my part, I had already slipped a few images into a very first post, here :
→ Pacific Blue
But for the rest, I'm very, very late in my stories ... My trip to PolynesiaOur stay on this small island in the Society Archipelago dates back to October 2012!
Maupiti is an island-mountain similar to the famous Bora Bora, its neighbor, located a few kilometers away. But in smaller, and more authentic.
No luxury hotels on stilts in Maupiti. The inhabitants - around 1,300 of them - don't want any. To accommodate tourists, there are only guesthouses.
We will stay for five days at the Auira pension, on the Motu of the same name, opposite the airport, with the lovely Gilbert and Edna. It was one of the few places available... Maupiti isn't overly touristy, but it's best to book your accommodation in advance.
My window faces the ocean as I land. So I miss the view of the island. But I can see the motusThese are the flat islets that surround and protect the lagoon, inside the coral reef. Maupiti has five of them.
The airport's tiny runway is built on a Motu. A bed of grey coral, between the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and the cerulean blue of the lagoon.
It's beautiful, it's beautiful!
Note, for those who prefer the seaway to the airway: there is also the Maupiti Express (affectionately nicknamed Vomiti Express by locals and metropolitans living there) which runs from Bora-Bora to the island... But I haven't tested it.
The princesses of the lagoon
Gilbert from Pension Auira greets us as we get off the plane. The parking lot here is a pontoon on the lagoon side. Yes, in Maupiti, they pick you up from the airport... by boat!!!! I love it.
Gilbert passes the traditional necklaces of tiare flowers, so sweet in perfume, waiting for us to collect our luggage.
The sun is beating down, the light is everywhere. In Gilbert's clear eyes and big smile, in the intense blue that surrounds us, from sky to lagoon, from sky to ocean. It makes you a little dizzy, everything blue that hurts eyes.
The recovered luggage, here we are like two princesses, with our necklaces of flowers and our sunglasses, spinning on the wavelets of the lagoon sparkling in Gilbert's boat.
We marvel at the rugged beauty of the island-mountain, planted in the middle of the lagoon. As you'll discover, its appearance changes constantly, depending on the time of day, the light, the side you're sailing from...
And then we discover "our" beach. Our fare ("Bungalow" in Tahitian) is here, waiting for us, under the coconut trees ...
For five days too short, so we will live on the Motu Auira, located in the southwest of the island. The only Motu from which you can reach the island on foot: it is linked to Maupiti by a huge sandbar where the water is shallow at low tide.
We tried kayaking too. Not a great success. Fortunately, as Gilbert goes back and forth between the motu and the island to run errands, we took advantage of the opportunity to get a ride home, without having to paddle.
A couple of Catalan tourists, also staying at the Pension Auira, thought they could make the crossing, but soon gave up! In fact, with the tide and the wind, and a more than random coordination of the paddles, the novices that we are are sailing mostly... in zigzags.
On our MotuWe'll be enjoying peaceful days, lazing around and strolling on the island of Maupiti opposite.
We'll gorge ourselves on raw fish marinated in coconut milk, fish for clams with Gilbert, cross the motu's coconut grove to see the whales from the ocean side, admire sunsets and storm clouds, get a taste for Hinano beer, and wade endlessly in the lagoon...
I will also do some dives... I'll tell you about it in a future post!