This is definitely the biggest surprise of my trip so far. Maupiti is a true beauty. Already in the approach to the island one holds one's breath. It resembles Bora Bora a little bit, because of the silhouette of the angular volcano and the curved motus, which frame the beautiful lagoon. Maupiti is just much smaller. The lagoon shines in all shades of blue and turquoise
and as the plane swings north we see this:
Incredible! In bright greenish yellow, the plankton shimmers through the shallow lagoon. The most beautiful island approach I have ever experienced. I can't get my head around it and the French in the cheap seats around me look at me disdainfully as I share my joy with them
“Holy sh**, what the f***, this is f***ing amazing. Fu** fu** fu*”
Maupiti is said to be about 4 million years old according to geological investigations and is thus the oldest society island of French Polynesia. For many it is at the same time the most beautiful. Maupiti is described in the Lonely Planet as the rising star of French Polynesia – the rising star. The little sister of Bora Bora, which I think is absolute nonsense.
Maupiti is as touristy as an island can be and has nothing in common with Bora Bora. Rising star!? Makes me laugh when I even think about how far away Maupiti is from the civilized present. A place where it wouldn't be unusual if Obelix ran into you with a shouldered menhir.
Here time stands still.
As I cycle around the island (which takes a good half hour), I feel like I've been catapulted 300 years into the past. Colorful wooden huts stand at the edge of the only paved road that circles the island. Some of the huts are built into the hillside. Turquoise, blue, red, multicolored houses, laundry hanging everywhere or objects lying around the houses, everything seems untidy and casual. Maupiti is the opposite of perfection and acts like a purification cure for every hardcore German.
Raggae music resounds from some windows. Without exception, every islander smiles at me and the men wave the surfer's greeting back at me.
I can see friendly people. Totally upside down world!
In the front gardens children sit on graves, here the family members are buried. This is both in Franz. Polynesia as well as on the Cooks custom. The guarantor for daily fresh flowers, good idea I think.
The inhabitants feed on what their own plantations yield. All commerce is alien to them. Banal things, like a hairdresser is not known on Maupiti, here they take the scissors themselves and I get masses of offers to help me with a pair of scissors. I decline with thanks.