Pacific Ocean

Island Coyote : The Gambier Islands

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The Gambier islands are a haven of tranquility. This archipelago which counts around a thousand inhabitants, is around 800 miles from Tahiti. It has volcanic origins and is made up of a main lagoon with a circumference of around 90km with 5 main islands and about 18 motus.  We visited a small part of it, including the main island Mangareva and its village Rikitea. It was here that we found the rare shops where we could stock up on provisions. Unfortunately the only fruit and vegetables are in cans. For fresh produce, we needed to rely on the friendly locals who allowed us to pick some. There are two boats which bring supplies to the island once or twice a month, but you need to get in quickly because in two days everything has gone. Just before we left we went out walking to look for some fresh produce. We came back with armfuls of grapefruit, lemons, bananas, green and ripe papayas, aubergines, urus (bread fruit) and passion fruit. we had three full rucksacks.  At Taravaï, every Sunday lunchtime, Valérie and Hervé, two of the islet's inhabitants, organise a barbecue for the boats that are moored here. Everyone brings meat to grill and salads… Our hosts are lovely, welcoming people and we spent a very pleasant few hours there. Aukena, opposite the village of Rikitea, is the island where Bernard and Marie-Noëlle live. We spent a week or so there. The mooring was ideal. We were in only 4 metres of water and close to the beach. This meant that we could get there by paddle board, canoe or even swimming. There was no need to get the dinghy out. Pascal made the most of our time there to fix the transom, which had practically disintegrated on our journey. Bernard showed us around the island, and we fed his pigs. Marie-Noëlle showed us some interesting coconut-based recipes.   

Who : Swann, Mireille, Pascal.

Where : The Gambier Islands, French Polynesia

Boat : Marquise 56

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