Wendy Perrin: How to Island-Hop Your Way Around French Polynesia

So I’m watching a hula competition on YouTube and dreaming about blue lagoons when my husband says, “What about the Marquesas?” The IRS has just sent us a modest refund and we are trying to decide where to spend it.

“The who?”

The Marquesas, Patrick informs me, are a group of volcanic islands northeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia. “They’re remote. Few tourists are going there, so the culture is more genuine. And they’re mountainous, not flat. You can hunt wild pigs.”

My tropical island fantasy includes an overwater bungalow, gardenia-scented breezes, and mahi-mahi with vanilla sauce. No wild pigs.

A marketing website for Tahiti tourism describes the Marquesas, which are a thousand miles northeast of Pape´ete, as “seemingly lost at the end of the earth.” Patrick’s idea is to fly to Pape´ete and hire a boat—any kind of boat, whatever’s available. Then we will simply island-hop our way around French Polynesia—which encompasses an area roughly the size of Europe—until it’s time to come home.

I should probably mention here that my husband, who is a native Parisian, once hitchhiked down the Amazon from Iquitos to Manaus, a journey of approximately 1,000 miles for which he allowed two weeks. It took him three months. At one point, he was forced to build a raft.

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One comment

Ingrid Wannfors
August 2, 2016
Hi Wendy PerrinJust do it, go with the frightship Aranui 5. I have done it twice and just wonderful, both Tahiti and her islands and Aranui 5. The curise takes 14 days and end upp with Bora Bora for one day. Just do it. Myself have been back to Tahiti and some other islands three times and will be back again soon. Let me hear if you go to the Marquesas island. Have a wonderful trip.Warm regardsIngrid Stockholm Sweden
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