Raiatea (French Polynesia), 09.09.2013
The moment I boarded the plane in Fakarava I guessed it would be hard to top the experience there. Back on Tahiti I spent a night in the <sarcasm> romantic, comfortable and well wired Tahiti Airport Motel </sarcasm> across the street from the terminal and the next morning took an early plane to Raiatea, in the Society Islands. Madame Emma picked me up at the airport and we drove 15 mins along the eastern side of the island to her pension. Contrary to Fakarava and the Tuamotu atolls in general, where the maximum elevation is just a couple of meters above sea level, the Society Islands are huge rocks in the water surrounded by a reef. Raiatea rises up to 1.017m at its highest point, and most of the time I was there the mountain tops were covered in clouds, giving the place a mysterious look.