Fakarava French Polynesia - April 2008 Hotel:                        Tokerau Village Diving center:          Top Dive (within the Hotel Le Maitai Dream Fakarava) Duration:                  4 days Diving experience:  Advanced Open Water Certificate, Dive 270 - 276 Assessment: Hotel Satisfaction in % Comments Overall impression 75 Room 80 Meals 70 3-course dinner prepared by Flora; simple but tasty homemade meals; limited choice of drinks (canned beer or 2 bottles wine by chance), breakfast poor although Atmosphere of restaurant 60 unfortunately far from the wonderful beach at the rear of the resort, plastic table cloth Service at restaurant 80 started immediate upon our arrival, very friendly, language difficulties in English Ratio of price/ performance 80 Resort 90 beautiful garden well taken care of, beautiful beach, lovely bungalows, no crowds Pool N/A Cleanliness/ hygiene 70 everything was clean upon arrival but the bungalow was only cleaned every 3rd day (same for towel exchange), cold water only Beach 100 beautiful white sand beach, no rocks when going into the water, surprisingly comfortable plastic sun chairs           Diving Satisfaction in % Comments     Variety of diving spots 70 Quality of diving spots 100 Quality of boat 80 difficult to enter due to the need of climbing the lather with tanks Service on board 100 Meals on board N/A Service at diving centre 100 Quality of diving centre 90 Ratio of price/ performance Equipment 80 Briefings/ Safety 60           Location Satisfaction in % Comments     Accessibility/ transport connection 60 24hours: flight from Frankfurt via L.A. to Papeete, Tahiti where we arrived so late that we had to have a stop-over before the flight went to Rangiroa the next morning Nightlife 30 Shopping facilities 0 Other activities 50 swimming, kayaking Diving: Just as Rangiroa, the diving at Fakarava is one of the best we have ever experienced. The visibility is breathtaking. The variety of fish is less than Rangiroa but the number of sharks is extraordinary, they were countless. Furthermore, there are more hard corals at Fakarava than we saw at Rangiroa. We spent 2 days diving up in the north channel, the pass Garaue, and made one day trip down to the south to Tumakohua pass close to Tetamanu Village. The trip to Tetamanu Village is only offered as a full day trip because it takes about an hour to drive down to the south at 35 knots. We first dropped off the non-diving tourists at Tetamanu Village and then went for our first dive. Between the dives, we also had the possibility to get a glimpse of Tetamanu Village but there is not a lot so see and but the church - one of the oldest in Polynesia. After the dives we drove to the pink sand beaches. It's not really pink but pink-ish - less exciting by the way as one may think of. Even though it was pouring down heavy rain, we could still see where they got their name from. Some people went for a swim and told us later about the wonderful warm water. We were still freezing from our dives and therefore did not go into the rain. After our stop at the pink sand beaches we went to have a barbecue on a beach of a very remote resort. It was a lovely meal with grilled fish, pasta salad, coconut bread, salad, and homemade cake. It was a lovely day but it wasn't cheap either: We paid 200Euro each for the full trip including 2 dives, water on board, fuel for the boat, and the barbecue. Hotel:  The pension of Tokerau Village was really lovely. The bungalows are in good shape, the space in between bungalows leaves a lot of privacy, and the entire resort is really nicely taken care of with bushes and flowers. The fact that there are only 4 bungalows gives you a lot of intimacy on the beach as well. Most of the time, we were all by ourselves. The beach was a beautiful white sand beach, with only a few coral blocks when going into the water. The pension had surprisingly comfortable plastic sun chairs that we either pulled up right into the water or into the shade of a palm tree. The resort also had some kayaks (free of charge) that we used for a trip on the day we left.   The rooms were cleaned every 3rd day, which meant that we had to make up our bed ourselves and did not get fresh towels on a daily basis either but we managed. First I was shocked when I found out that there was no hot water but it turned out that the cold water coming from the pipe was not as cold as I had imagined. It was no problem to wash long hair and get out all the soap.     Restaurant/ Staff:   Flora - the owner of the pension - prepared us a 3-course dinner; the food was simple but very tasty, typical homemade. The downside was the limited choice of drinks. Flora either offered water. When we aseked for it, we could also get a beer from a can or one night we even tried a bottle of wine. The supply of drinks was not frequent so we decided to have our sundowners at Le Maitai, the hotel where our dive center was situtated at.   But now the pictures!