Ok well, maybe not SO melodramatic. But while on our honeymoon in Tahiti, Ariel (the newest member of the Kapoano clan) and I watched this riveting event take place several times. Finally I decided to video it, because it is AWESOME.
Here’s the backstory.
French Polynesia is made of of hundreds (thousands?) of islands and tiny islets. One these islands, Rangiroa, is world renown for its scuba diving and snorkeling.
We headed there for a different reason though.
Being that it was the tail end of our 10 day honeymoon in Tahiti, we really wanted to experience something that was a little more “authentic” and representative of French Polynesian culture than overwater bungalows and $250 dinners. So we signed up for three nights at the Kia Ora Sauvage, an experience about as far from the Four Seasons, Hilton or Le Meridien as you can imagine.
Simply put, it was described to us as a “Robinson Crusoe” experience. Essentially, it was three nights in a wooden hut with no electricity, no internet, no air conditioning, no screens on the windows…hell no WINDOWS on the windows. To get there, we had to take a 90 minute boat ride from the “main” island. I mean this place was REMOTE. There are only five bungalows on the island and a few staff members. In fact the first night we stayed there, we were entirely alone with the staff. We had our own private island for a day.
The world could literally destroy itself around us and we would never know the difference. As it was, the horrifying November/2015 terrorist attacks in France occurred while we were there and we literally had no idea until after we got off the island.
We were, however blissfully unaware and that experience of being completely disconnected from news, email, Twitter, Facebook and the perpetual crush of our electronic daily lives was truly remarkable. We spent our days exploring lagoons and palm tree forests on uninhabited islands, surrounded by fossilized coral. Our host, Michel, described the place as the “end of the world” and our surroundings and isolation sure made it seem that way.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner we were invited into the main hut where we had our meals specially prepared for us by the staff. They even accommodated my “dietary needs” and served us no meat or shellfish the whole time we were there. You’d think having Mahi Mahi twice a day everyday would get repetitive…it didn’t. Also making things interesting was spending time with the staff, which consisted of Michel, his wife a few other workers. Speaking with him about his life and Polynesian society was eye-opening in a way that chatting with the nameless staff at the big hotels (who were mostly French) could never be.
We also spent a lot of time with Bella, the local dog, who accompanied us on our walks around the island and stood guard against the terrifying (not really) hermit crabs and chameleons that came alive at night. She also had a fascinating habit of growling at and then chasing sharks around the shallow water that surrounded the tiny island. It might seem ominous to be hanging out on an island surrounded by sharks, over 90 minutes by boat from the nearest semblance of civilization, but we had just gone swimming with sharks just like this – and much larger – on Bora Bora a few days earlier.
So it was just entertaining to sit back and watch the local dog do her thing and torture these sharks.
After all, what else is there to do on a desert island for three days?