On Land in Fakarava

We spent a sunny morning last week exploring the small village in South Fakarava. It was no more than a quarter mile squared, with only a few dwellings that seemed inhabited by locals. There were two small dive operations capitalizing on the underwater scenery, one that ran a handful of bungalows and a small restaurant for guests only. There was a small stretch of shallow lagoon along the pass filled with fisherman feeding the sharks. There was a reef on the outer lagoon with breaking waves. A small school of brave surfers rode the white caps, trying to avoid the coral heads. We couldn't find the abandoned jailhouse amid the other abandoned structures, but we did find a still-functioning Catholic church dating from the 1820s. It was cool and spacious when we visited, with a mother of pearl mosaic altar, seashell garlands, and psalm books written in Polynesian.