We are currently visiting and exploring the delightful atoll of Rangiroa - the largest one of the Tuamotus and our last one before heading on to Tahiti in a few days. Although it has been rainy and gusty here, we were able to dodge squalls yesterday and do some sightseeing. We rented bicycles and rode along the main road of about 10 miles round trip. We stopped and had lunch at a pizza restaurant and had first rate view of the water. Seems like in forever that I have had a pizza, and considering where we are and that is was made by a French man that did not speak English, it was quite good. We also visited another pearl farm, Gauguin's Pearl Farm, which was very informative. After visiting several farms in the Tuamotus, I recommend this one for the best value, friendliness, and large selection to choose from. Sadly, we did not get to visit the world's most exotic winery, Tahiti Wines, since the owner was in Tahiti and apparently it is quite a boat expedition to visit that must be prearranged. The reason that it is the most exotic winery is because the grapes are grown in the coral here. We were able to pick up a couple of bottles though in the local "magazins" (grocery stores). One bottle is said to provide the hint of "coral" or "rocks" along with the aromas of honey and papayas. We have not tasted it yet, so will have to weigh in on those claims later.
The prior day, we were finally able to do the drift "dive" or snorkel through the Tiputa pass here at Rangiroa. Dave and I took the dinghy to the pass, jumped in while holding the line and the strong current brought us in through the pass while we viewed the varied sea life below - amazing! The water is so crystal clear, we were able to see to the bottom and along with the coral saw quite a variety of fish. Dave even saw a black tip shark! Thank goodness Gail did not see it or she probably would not have gone again and again and again... And did I mention that the water here is 84 degrees - perfect for Gail! It was quite an amazing experience. Just make sure you go during the incoming current or you would very quickly get washed out to sea!
We are taking lots of pictures, but still searching for internet. We thought yesterday that we finally found some restaurants with WiFi, but then was told internet is down for all of French Polynesia for the next three days. Apparently, the internet cable from Hawaii is being repaired this weekend. Oh well, maybe in Tahiti. The things we take for granted in the US! Who needs internet anyway when one is in paradise?
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