French Polynesia, Travel Journal, Part 2
The flight into Rangiroa was stunning and unlike anything my companions had ever seen, of course I was also amazed because nature NEVER ceases to amaze me but I had seen similar views from the float plane when I visited Fiji, so though I WAS snapping photos like crazy and was VERY excited, I was even more thrilled to see the looks on my baby girl and friends faces and feel their excitement! Especially Jolee, she was absolutely BLOWN AWAY and said she wished she could jump out of the plane and into the water. She felt like she couldn’t get to the water fast enough! My heart was beaming to see and FEEL her excitement.
After a glorious show from the air, we landed and could hardly wait to get settled in.
We met our accommodation host who was waiting with a sign and told us he was going to drop off another family first who had already picked up their luggage. This gave us time to retrieve our luggage, which was very quick because we were literally the only flight and it was a small plane. The hotel was literally located about 4 minutes down the road from the airport so he returned fairly quickly, it was then that I realized he was barefoot, reminding me that we are not in America anymore. During the drive, I also quickly noticed that the shades of green in Rangiroa were unlike any green I had previously seen in my travels. The greens here weren’t the deep, dark greens I am used to, rather all different shades of lime green. I was so intrigued. The island was very small and we would end up riding bikes to get around everywhere the whole week. In my opinion, this is the best way to get around a place like this, with the sun shining down on you and the wind blowing in your face. DREAMY!!!
When we arrived to our cute boutique hotel, our host jumped out of the car and scrambled to quickly grab a bamboo tray, sitting at the base of tree that was holding coconuts for all of us to drink. This was THE MOST DELICIOUS coconut I have ever had ANYWHERE, in ALL of my travels. Even prepared with eco friendly straws, which mad my heart smile.
He then guided us to our home for the next 5 days which was even better than I expected. I knew I had booked us the biggest place on the site but I had no idea I had simultaneously booked us the only LITERAL beach front place on the property. I mean they are all technically beach front but ours was literally up front. What a blessing and fun surprise! So grateful! We quickly picked our beds and immediately changed to hop into the water we had just been oogling from the plane.
Jolee wasted no time and completely ditched me, which was actually HUGE since she has severe separation anxiety and rarely ever leaves my side. I was SOOOOO excited that she felt comfortable, safe and at ease enough to leave me.
Nature, particularly the water has that affect on her. She loves the ocean more than ANY other human I have known in my ENTIRE life and feels so comfortable in it. She is a real mermaid, ask ANYONE who has ever been to the ocean with her, I am NOT exaggerating. Even Strangers at our hotel took notice of her affinity to the water and would comment to me how beautiful it was that she spent every waking moment in awe of and exploring the big blue! She seriously only got out to eat and sleep, no joke.
After I changed and pulled out my snorkel gear, I headed to the beach and met up with my little mermaid. Get ready for picture overload. We swam . . .
After HOURS in the water with Jo(lee), I chose to get out to “take it all in” from the beach. I was still in shock that we were actually there! I wanted to remember every sight, every smell, every sound, EVERYTHING!
It was such sweetness to my soul too, to sit on the beach and feel the warmth of the sun warm me on the outside while the joy of watching Jo play her little heart out in the water, searching for fish, trying to keep up with them and looking for shells in the sand, warmed me on the inside. This was a true moment of bliss in my life, a moment I will never forget. My heart is full.
Jolee stayed in the water and swam until I told her it was time to clean up for dinner.
Truth be told, those rice cakes were awful, they tasted so stale. Maybe they were? Or maybe it was just the humidity that zapped the crispness out of them. Who knows, regardless, I was grateful for a healthy vegan meal.
After dinner, we all headed to the waters edge, our friend Rachael spotted some fish from the table that appeared to be playing, so we went to investigate. Turns out, those fish were actually black tip sharks! It was so fun to watch them “do their thing’ from the sand. At times, we thought the smallest ones might actually beach themselves as they played in the tiny waves, so we stood by, half expecting to have to them back into the water! They ranged from tiny babies that we wondered might be newborns to juvenile sized ones we felt were kind of the babysitters. They appeared to be exercising or learning to hunt, still unsure exactly what we were watching but it was absolutely FASCINATING! It was like watching a nature show in real life! Without the commentary as our friend Marina noted. ha ha
We headed to bed with full bellies and full hearts, excited for what the next day had in store. Check back soon for day 3 of French Polynesia. 💙