Mar­que­sas Is­lands. End­less beauty

Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine - - CONTENTS -

De­par­ture from Papeete. We climb on board the Aranui 5; the bow points in the di­rec­tion of the Tuamotu is­lands with Takapoto and then to the Mar­que­sas Is­lands through the beautiful Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahu­ata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa and Ua Huka with­out miss­ing, re­turn­ing to the base, the won­der­ful Ran­giroa and Bora Bora. And sud­denly we find our­selves in the fas­ci­nat­ing at­mos­phere of the Mar­que­sas Is­lands. This is the ex­u­ber­ant face of French Poly­ne­sia. Ad­jec­tives are in­suf­fi­cient. An­other world; a di­men­sion which, al­ready from the es­o­teric names, opens its doors to a trea­sure trove of won­ders. The an­cient Maohi cul­ture, the wafts of odours, the lux­u­ri­ant veg­e­ta­tion, the colours, the tra­di­tional dances (in par­tic­u­lar the typ­i­cal dance Ta­mure) are the quin­tes­sence of the South Seas, as de­scribed by Robert Louis Steven­son, im­mersed in a mo­saic of magic, un­touched pu­rity, plea­sure of adventure, courage and cow­ard­li­ness. Set in the en­chanted haven of an intriguing ar­chi­pel­ago, the twelve Mar­que­sas is­lands of vol­canic ori­gin are reached on this spe­cial, highly tech­no­log­i­cal cargo and pas­sen­ger boat, which cuts through the emer­ald wa­ters on a cruise last­ing four­teen un­for­get­table days. This ex­cit­ing tour ex­plores the vir­gin la­goons, rocky coast­lines lashed by the cur­rents, rugged peaks and en­chanted at­mos­pheres of the is­lands, which are in­ter­wo­ven with a sub­tle web of wild, lux­u­ri­ant na­ture that is tamed only on the shores of the se­cluded bays. Here, 800 miles from Tahiti, a stone’s throw from the Equa­tor, the Henua enana (land of men) is a strip of land that has al­ways been open to waves of coloni­sa­tion, with a his­tory that is in­ter­twined with the re­mains of the Tiki of Hiva Oa, the stat­ues of de­i­fied an­ces­tors, and the sa­cred rit­ual of tat­too­ing. A sym­bol of beauty and bravado, so­cial rank and be­long­ing to an im­por­tant race, Mar­que­san tat­toos fol­low the eyes and mouth, ear lobes and nose: bod­ies that speak and tell of an­cient events with

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