We have finished our quarantine period for a while now and we are allowed to go ashore. Time flies. We have recovered and also started to get the boat ready. After such a long passage there are already some things to do and to clean up.
The island “Mangareva” is very beautiful and there is a lot of green. We finally enjoy to do some hiking and to leave the boat. But apart from beautiful scenery and a few small shops there is not much to do here. On all Gambier Islands together live about 1300 people. It is rather village-like. Even the main village “Rikitea” is very quiet. The people here are very nice. A lot of work on one of the many shell farms. The pearls from the Gambier Islands are among the best you can find.
But the food here is extremely expensive (e.g. 200g cheese (Emmentaler) 6,80 USD, a bread (Brioche) 5 USD, a potato 1 USD, an apple 2 USD, green salad 10 USD, a 0,5l beer 3,60 USD and wine about 25 USD) Almost everything comes by ship or plane, mostly from France. Since one can spend hardly any money, life here is relatively cheap. :)) There are a few local things, e.g. grapefruit, breadfruit and coconut, which you can get cheaper or often for free. Also eggs for 50 cents/piece are local and very good. Some basic food (noodles, flour…) are subsidized and therefore not expensive. The fish from the atoll can unfortunately not always be eaten because of ciguatera. But we bought tuna from local fishermen. It is caught outside the atoll, is safe and super tasty.
Now we make the boat pretty again. It has suffered a bit during the crossing and we have a lot of shells on the hull (unfortunately not the ones with pearls). There are also some small things to repair (scratches on the sail to mend, replace scrubbed lines, etc.). So there is already something to do.
We also met many sailors here again, whom we already know from the Caribbean and Panama. This is almost like a family reunion here. Not long after our arrival, 4 dinghies of friendly boats were with us to greet us and they also brought us grapefruit and other fruits. There one feels immediately somehow at home.
At the moment there are about 20 boats in Rikitea and maybe 50 on the whole Gambier, which is more than usual, but Corona has confused the travel plans of all of them and many of them got stuck here. Everybody hopes that the journey will be easier… We’ll see how it develops…