Get to Pitcairn Island 1/2

Pitcairn Islands (Pitcairn; in the southern Pacific Ocean, population 50 people) - one of the most difficult to visit the countries of the world. Pitcairn, of course, visa-free, but there is no airfield here to go sea 1.5 days from the nearest airport: Gambier archipelago in French Polynesia Usually, no one knows what the French Polynesia and where it is, but in fact it's simple: French Polynesia - the official name of the usual Tahiti. Another question that I have not seen a reader who would not confused sweetly Tahiti (Tahiti; that is, once again - in the South Pacific), Haiti (Haiti; that in the Caribbean, and where an earthquake, cholera, voodoo, Tonton Macoutes hell and trash)  French Polynesia - grand island country the size of Western Europe (well, almost, at a stretch), and the main island (Tahiti) and the Gambier archipelago are at different ends of it (Gambier - in the far east, and Tahiti almost entirely on west). From Tahiti to Gambier fly only once a week and the flight will take 4 hours for Hells balalaika turboprop  ATR72 (wiki rocks, but my head did not come, that may be ATR72 this flight range! Before Tahiti my longest flight was on ATR 1:15)

4 hours by plane from Tahiti to the Gambia and 1.5 days with sea Gambier to Pitcairn - though not trivial, but it is not the case for long. To get from Moscow to Tahiti need to fly (!) On the pot-bellied 380, 340, 330 and 777 full-fledged 36 hours. In our case it turned 3 transplantation: Moscow-Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland-Tahiti  (Here I'm a little caught up with the drama: in fact, from Moscow to Tahiti can be reached with only 1 transfer in Tokyo (if you fly through the east) or Los Angeles ( if you fly through the west), and it will take all day, but it is somehow more pointless and boring)  ((The word   in relation to the country Pitcairn I used in a broad sense, it is clear that Pitcairn is not a sovereign state, and very, very, very remote from the self-governing overseas territory of the UK)) Talk about the flight Moscow-Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland-Tahiti is a thankless task, but I have on occasion just described something in the story "Around the world in 5 days".  * * * 36 hours * * * That is - the international airport in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, located on the island of Tahiti. Airport called Faaa, romantic name for terrestrial satellite city of Papeete. Funny diagram approach, common in coastal airports Frantszuskoy Polynesia (from left to right along the strip, as in the picture, and then a quick turn through 180 ° in the end almost) always possible to photograph krasivuschy view of the airfield 

In Tahiti, in general, no one except the Air Tahiti Nui (rare and Air France) without flying - all other companies sell kodshering with Air Tahiti Nui. If you fly from Auckland to Tahiti, then cross the date line and from February 20 you get back to the 19 th. "Nui" in the Air Tahiti Nui in Polynesian means "big" and distinguishes it from international airlines related (but not identical in terms of the share capital) of the inner Air Tahiti, flying turboprop ATR42 and ATR72 between the islands). Air Tahiti Nui flies flotike good old A340-300, and nothing

Those traveling to Tahiti or Bora Bora next rai and Moorea meet whiteboards tourism companies: on the board markers inscribed with the names of tourists, and on special pins polnineziyskie wreaths hanging from the bottom, which has several hundred years Polynesians really welcome guests - a tradition not fictional and not interrupted, as far as I know. Multicolored flowers in French Polynesia grow on trees wherever possible, and literally fall from them, falling asleep track. Wreaths for tourists weave bums around the airport, which they buy cheap tour operators (but then I do not give a tooth: it is possible, tour operators buy wreaths at the homeless expensive, and possibly part of tour operators buy wreaths do not have homeless people) 

6:45, landing on the flight usual Tahiti Air Tahiti VT951-Gambier, in / with ATR72, view from tail

* 40 hours *

Tahiti-Gambier, intermediate landing on the atoll Tureia (planes in the Air Tahiti do not wash for reasons of principle, so any pictures from the window of Air Tahiti can not be obtained) 

Nikakova ILS, no lights along the strip - Air Tahiti pilots fly manually, visually and by the vast majority of the airport - only during the day. Long-term readers of my blog know that the formation of my personality, but "dashing" of the nineties, depended, perhaps, from the Indiana Jones movies: the locals standing with torches along the strip in case of emergency, it's just about Atoll Tureia

Local Logistics: in a clearing between the plane and flown barn / waiting room to catch passengers, similar transit and distribute laminated cards trazitnogo passenger.

Judging by the fact that the return flight from Papeete to Gambier passes without planted on Tureia, Tureia not need to refuel, and to land and take passengers. But, nevertheless, it is an important refueling point: the barrels of jet fuel by the French company "Total" vnavalku lie along the taxiways

Zapravlâût simple motopompoj on tractors:


left - the building of the airport. Under the canopy - terminal, and typically house, trimmed with beautiful beige siding - dispatching and barn with different aerodrome adapt

Unloading of baggage:

Local resident pulls out of the capital deficit

Then I got a lot of pictures counterintuitive, but parking in the tour took only 30 minutes

* 41.5 hours * * *

Another hour flight and the porthole pokazyvaetsya archipelago Gambia Gambia  - one of the 5 archipelagos that make up French Polynesia Society Islands (Society Islands; this is where we Tahiti, Bora Bora , Tupi-tupit and other paradise - and judging by, no Russian tourist was not outside the archipelago), Tuamotu Islands (Tuamotu Archipelago; coral atolls with coconut palms, dusty roads and excellent nyryalki) Marquesas Islands (Marquesas  Islands; the artist Paul Gauguin, flies nono) Ostralovy Islands (Austral Islands; there - God knows, but certainly no ATMs), and the Gambier Islands (Gambier Islands). Gambier archipelago looks from the rest is quite insignificant: Tuamotu occupies a million square kilometers of ocean, and Gambier good if at least one thousand Gambier turned from a single volcanic caldera that erosion lavishing on separate islands and coral reef and wrapped wonderful lagoon. Circle reef Gambier - measly 90 kilometers (less MKAD)  The largest island of the archipelago called Gambier   Mangareva, and the main village - Rikitea. The townsfolk used interchangeably, these place names (but Mangareva - the most popular name for this place), and I see a post held semantic fascist archipelago Gambia

Mangareva Island:

Hi, Mangareva

Someone got here before us for business turboprope, and the stay sweetly closed cockpit from the heat reflective mat from the car

In the white house sits an air traffic controller, and beige - fire 

Lack of ILS and other technical equipment on the ground French Polynesia compensated Fire: before boarding each flight specially assigned to the airport fire crew starts the car, includes flashing lights and is on duty until the board does not fly

Left - Station. Usually it takes and sends one flight per week 

Filling flight back to Tahiti. Surprisingly, it will be called back again VT951


Loading catering (it is in the OP on local flights are not very similar to what we usually meet on international routes in Russia and Europe: pineapple juice only, and the food - only baguettes)

This is not Bora Bora Motu is   Mangareva airport. Tourists sadly waiting for his flight back to Tahiti

Arhipelega Airport is located on the outer coral reef called  Totegegie Island, Motu by name, in which he rasprolozhen (Motu = in Polynesia, the islands that make up the surface part of the coral reef), but in real life, nobody says (say  Mangareva airport) . Terminal is combined with a pier, which goes with the boat to the island of Mangareva in the village Rikitea (however, are arranged so many airports in the OP)  But then the boat least like a bus or  shuttle: it comes in the morning to the airport from Mangareva, together with all employees and airport departing - the first of employees includes switch and the airport comes alive

Between flight live their lives: they killed two officers in the lagoon spear some fish coral and now it will eat - it does not even have to cook, Polynesians eat fish as  sashimi

Everyone knows that the  Motu  overgrown coconut palms, and that there is a regular underfoot plantain, - nobody knows

Register return flight: everything manually

Luggage anywhere except Tahiti not shine:

Baggage All zhopam French Polynesia happening here with these wooden shelves 

Airport, as usual in these parts, makes it possible to build a military with the French nuclear program

Passengers boarding the return flight:

Sending a flight to Tahiti, tourists and employees leave "in the city", turning off at a light. If you are behind a boat will have to live on a desert island, combined with aeroporotom a week (tour operators and homeless on Mangareva not, so wreaths children do the owners of    guesthouses)