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Rangiroa: New Year, new island

Not a bad start of 2014, right? Not at all. After lounging by the pool of Maitai Rangiroa during the morning, it was time to kiss bye bye to its super comfortable bungalows (completely sealed, air conditioned) which were just a bit more expensive than Pension Tuanake. In short, book in advance and try Maitai if you like a bit of comfort (instead of being after a truly rustic experience with all the love of a Polynesian family).

A huge baguette in the airport after and we were approaching the next atoll on the line, Fakarava.

Fakarava also offers awesome diving experiences (along with much healthier coral than Rangiroa) but is notoriously smaller. With 800 people living there, this place has zero hotels, so you have to stay at a family pension or skip it. However, there are really nice spots to check out, like Vaiama Village (where we stayed) or Havaiki Pearl Guesthouse (which is super cool and lively place, with a hotel-like ambient, really popular among locals so better book early).

There is NO ATM IN FAKARAVA. So make sure to come with some cash or check in advance whether the diving school/pension accepts credit cards, to avoid tricky situations.

As you can see, Fakarava is also quite large atoll and today, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, because of the richness of the sea life around that hyper healthy coral ring. 

The Garuae Pass, which is really popular among divers, is the largest in the whole Polynesia. It has 7 different currents that one should watch out for, so drift dives are not really for beginners. Drift dives are something I never experienced before coming to Polynesia. Quite a cool experience, it consists on letting the swell drag you along the coral, while you basically do nothing. It feels almost like flying, but if you get distracted by watching some amazing shark or Napoleon fish, it may be painful... As you may hit a coral when you least expect it!

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