The Polynesian atoll

Fakarava (French Polynesia), 06.09.2013

As a child I remember to have spent endless hours admiring a globe we had in the living room of my parents’ house. It was lit from the inside to show the areas of the earth covered with sun and those in darkness, depending on how the date and time were set. I always wondered how the other side of this planet would look like, those places in the southern Pacific Ocean the farthest away from Europe. Reading about atolls dispersed in thousands of km of vast ocean, palm fringed beaches and turquoise seas, mystic mountains rising high out of nowhere in the water got my imagination carried away. When some weeks ago I sat in a hotel room contemplating what to do with a few of weeks of sudden time off, a look at Google maps drew my attention to this area again. It was so close, just some hours by plane, like never before and likely not again for a long time. It was outside of Eurasia geographically and therefore wouldn’t fit with the scope of this trip. But hey, it was an opportunity that presented itself to fulfil a dream of a lifetime. One of the learnings of this journey has been also to seize these opportunities whenever they appear within reach to make the best out of each moment. So the geographical dogma went overboard in seconds and the travel planning began!

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Grande Terre

Tontouta (New Caledonia), 04.09.2013

New Caledonia had always been a dream destination of mine. I had seen two of the five major islands, and they were indeed very, very beautiful. It was time to see the mainland, or better the main island, that promised to be quite different. Grande Terre is over 500km long from one end to the other, and you can almost drive all around it. The mountains in the middle were covered in clouds, as it was winter here. On arrival at Magenta airport I picked up a rental car and went to wash my laundry at the Moselle marina’s shopping mall.

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