Our First Port of Call in Our South Pacific Adventure: The Marquises Islands French Polynesia:
The Polynesian Triangle
French Polynesia, Oh how I love the sound of it, the name conjures up such romantic images. Its part of the cultural zone called the Polynesian Triangle, The three points of the triangle being, the Easter Islands, New Zealand and Hawaii. They consist of two very different types of islands, the mountainous “high Islands” (the Marquises, Gambier, Society Islands and Austral) and the low-lying atolls (Tuamotu archipelago) which are donut shaped coral islands surrounding a lagoon. All of the islands with the exception of the Marquises, have surrounding coral reefs interrupted by reef passages that have been carved out by freshwater rivers that flow into the lagoon. Due to the cold ocean currents, reefs have been unable to form in the Marquises, which are the northernmost archipelago of French Polynesia, located 1,400 km northeast of Papeete. The Marquises archipelago consists of ten volcanic islands of breathtaking beauty that abound in archaeological sites. I’m so excited at the prospect of exploring the islands and learning about their history, people and culture. The extreme beauty of these islands is why the famous artist Gauguin, made this is home and final resting place. The people of the Marquises make their living by fishing, hunting, agriculture, handicrafts and to a lesser extent, tourism.