Somewhere deep in the Tuomotu’s the ukulele rings out from beneath a star scattered sky. A warm South Pacific breeze caresses our skin as we sit around a fire singing songs, tapping feet. It’s our last night on Rangiroa.
Necklaced in frangipani leis, the community welcomed us to the closing ceremony of the TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior at sunset. Three elongated tables offered a feast of ice cold coconuts and cake (this was a junior contest after all) that had local kids lining up like it was the last taste of sugar on earth.
A steady drum beat rhythm from the band started a flow of Tahitian dancers whose vibrant colours and hip-shaking antics stirred the crowd into a trance-like-state that seemed to last for hours.
Eventually we retired to a friends house on the water sipping hinanos and enjoying an impromptu ukulele gig that continued well into the night.
Travelling is food for the soul, of that I am convinced.
I’d had a grumpy week back home and did not feel like waking up at 4am to drive two hours to the airport to fly to Tahiti (and no one was feeling sorry for me either!)
Walking through the doors of Papeete Airport we were greeted by that sweet familiar strum of three fat, happy ukuleles that complimented the fresh smell of frangipani as we took our first intoxicating breath of paradise.
Landing at midnight we overnighted in Papeete, not far from the airport. Six jetlagged bodies piled into our dormatory style accommodation and had only hit the pillow when it felt like Rodney (our host) yelled his wake up call from downstairs.
Breakfast was stroll down the street to the local store that sells everything from hard boil eggs to engine oil and we opted for what turned out to be the best croissants I’ve ever tasted.
At 8am we boarded our flight to Rangiroa or ‘Rangi’ as the locals call it, the largest atoll in the Tuamtotu’s.
This was my first view of Rangi from the air. A skinny strip in the middle of the South pacific.
I thought I’d scored when I was given my own private bungalow on the beach, while all five boys had to share one. This was short lived however as I arrived home yesterday to find that I had two new roommates from the local Polynesian security. If anyone of you have encountered Polynesian event security you will feel my pain but I’ll be saving that picture and perhaps the snoring soundtrack for another day!