French Polynesia

Somewhere in Papette

French Polynesia travel stories

The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 11

The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 11

Part 11: THE ROAD TO TAHITI: AUKENA AND HIKUERU From Hikueru to Eternity “Aranui” can be translated as “the Big Highway” and Aranui 5 is on the road back to Tahiti. Since we shove off from Pitcairn Island, a UK overseas territory, and arrive the next day at Mangareva,...

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The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 9

The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 9

Part 9: PITCAIRN ISLAND Picaresque and Picturesque Pitcairn Upon arriving at Bounty Bay, all Aranui 5 passengers are given tokens, not unlike those straphangers previously dropped into turnstiles to gain egress to New York City’s subway. Pitcairn Island, too, has mass...

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The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 8

The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn — 8

Part 8: PITCAIRN ISLAND So Close, Yet So Far? After departing Mangareva, everyone aboard Aranui 5 – from passengers to crew – must submit to the voyage’s second obligatory covid test, no exceptions. The first swab for the swabbies, of course, had been taken a day...

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The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn – 7

The Ultimate Island Odyssey: From Alcatraz to Pitcairn – 7

Part 7: PITCAIRN ISLAND Mutiny on the Bounty It’s full steam ahead aboard Aranui 5 to the raison d’etre of this far-flung voyage through French Polynesia’s remotest isles and atolls as we near way off the beaten track Pitcairn. The legacy of and lore surrounding this...

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Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 4

Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 4

Part 4: THE TUAMOTUS: ANAA For Whom the Atoll Tolls Our voyage to Pitcairn Island commences as Aranui 5 shoves off from Papeete harbor and glides past magnificent Moorea. This is actually the fourth incarnation of the Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime’s...

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Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 3

Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 3

Part 3: TAHITI Paradise Lost – and Found At San Francisco Airport I enjoy a filling lunch at the comfy United Club lounge. Relaxed, I then board a United Airlines nonstop direct flight for my 15th visit to Tahiti since the 1970s. I luckily have an entire aisle to...

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Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 2

Alcatraz to Pitcairn: An Island Odyssey — 2

Part 2: THE ROCK The Big Lockup After Ranger Benny’s presentation about Alcatraz’s political prisoners, I climb uphill (trams are available) past cannons, barb wire and beneath a water tower to the main facility where audio equipment for “Doing Time: The Alcatraz...

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