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Aranui Day 2: Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago | Travels With Carly

Aranui Day 2: Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago

Greetings from Fakarava, or as the crew likes to say, Fuuuuuuukarava. You get it, right? It is very handy. I may use it in the future.

Today was our first day ashore, although we had only 2 hours to check things out before the crew was done unloading cargo. Angela, Erke and I attempted a 3 kilometer hike to a light house via the lagoon road, but we ran out of time and walked back along the ocean. A German guy who owns a pearl store on the island was selling black pearls off a card table under a tent near the pier. Very random, but very good prices.

For me, the highlight of the day was the Aranui band. Comprised of crew members, they play every other night from 9 – 10 in YoYo’s bar. They rock it with two ukeleles, one guitar, and one homemade instrument that is basically a plastic bin from Home Depot turned on its head with a heavy rope attached to a stick. You place the stick on top of the bin, pull the chord tight and viola…you have a base. Ingenious.

While the Aranui band played, passengers and crew danced. I hit the floor with Jean (John in English), a very cute cargo guy from the Austral islands – henceforth known as Austral Jean. Austral Jean has been aboard the Aranui for 3 years, and his little brother Gino joined him here 2 months ago. Like everyone (passengers and crew alike) Austral Jean wanted to know if I was married. He said, “You have no husband? You travel alone? You very brave.”

Why thank you Austral Jean, yes I am.

Fisherman's art on Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago.

Fisherman's art on Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago.

Fisherman's art on Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago.

Fisherman's art on Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago.

Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago

Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago

The long road of friendship.  Angela and Erke.  Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

The long road of friendship. Angela and Erke. Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

View of the Aranui 3 at Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

View of the Aranui 3 at Fakarava atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago.

In the age of cell phones it is nice to know you can still call someone from a phone booth on the beach.

In the age of cell phones it is nice to know you can still call someone from a phone booth on the beach.

Angela says the German Pearl Guy is on TV in Germany. Very random, but hey, this is French Polynesia.

Angela says the German Pearl Guy is on TV in Germany. Very random, but hey, this is French Polynesia.

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