This is the second in a series of posts, each one about an island we’re visiting while on our grand tour of French Polynesia. (The first post was about Mo’orea.)

Rangiroa is an atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, which is the middle, and largest, group of islands in French Polynesia. In the map below, it’s to the right of the “S” in “SOCIETY” and a little to the left of, and below, the “T” in “TUAMOTU”. While Mo’orea doesn’t have a whole lot of options for things to do, I think it’s safe to say that Rangiroa is even sleepier. It’s the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second largest in the world – about 46 miles from end-to-end inside the lagoon. But the motus (islands) that make up the big oval around the lagoon are very narrow, very flat, and many of them are quite rocky (ancient coral reef), so not a lot grows on them. Except coconuts.

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This is the first of what will hopefully be a series of seven posts, each one about one of the islands we’re visiting in French Polynesia.

After Galapagos, we spent a few days in Quito, Ecuador, which was unexpected. (Because we thought we’d be leaving Galapagos on a sailboat bound for French Polynesia – which we did not do.) Quito is a city of over 3 million people, and is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet, both of which came as a big surprise to us. 9,000 feet – even at the equator – can get pretty chilly! Fortunately for us, it was in the 60’s during both days we were there, because we had packed for French Polynesia – short pants and t-shirts! We enjoyed Quito, in large part because we spent the first of our two days there exploring it with Beth and Pat, who faithful readers will remember from the Galapagos post. But I’m not going to write any more about it. If you want to know more about Quito, GTS! (That’s what Fran’s sister Ingrid says to her teenagers when they ask her almost anything – “GTS! Google That Sh**!”.)

Continue reading “Mo’orea”