Tahiti, Moorea, Aranui-Tuamotus-Marquesas-Bora Bora, Cook Islands

January 2019 some episodes of "Verrückt nach Meer" (crazy about the sea) were on TV. Since it went through the South Seas, I dealt with my former journey and looked by principle(!), what would be possible "today". Within few days I had planned the hypothetical(!) journey. When I finally realized that the flights (for that price!) were almost gone, it was now or never! So it happened within a week, from the first consideration to the booking.

That was the Aranui 3 2002-2015
Aranui means the big way, Ara way, Nui big
And this is the Aranui 5
In service since the end of 2015

Originally I thought I would cycle on the islands. Renting a bike is pretty expensive, for example, I even get a scooter on Rarotonga for the same price as renting a bike. Then I thought about getting a folding bike, but that would have exceeded the maximum measures allowed for regular luggage in aircraft L+W+H 158 cm. Ultimately, it seemed too complicated, too uncertain and possibly too expensive to take a bike on the plane.

So I thought just to take my scooter, with which I had been travelling in Stockholm. I have made a slight change, so that the handlebars can be rotated by 90° for transport and so the scooter is pretty flat when folded. It weighs 4.5 kg and fits together with my backpack in the carrying case for the backpack. A 6 mm thick foam mat (147 g) 50 x 177 cm folded once has just the right size to cushion the scooter against the outside and inside against the backpack. In addition it makes sense anyway to have such a mat for the beach. Carrying case with backpack, contents, mat and scooter weighs a total of 19 kg.

Then the question was, how can I ride on the islands with the scooter, because I need smooth surfaces and whether I can make the distances too. I assumed that I could ride at longer distances with 8 to 10 km/h. This year I rode 770 km with this scooter with handlebar height 94 cm. Thereby I know that I ride on average 11 km/h and can make the distance. Of this scooter the undersized threaded sleeve, which was the axis of the hinged joint, broke after total 870 km.

With Google Streetview I looked at the most important routes, so I "drove" the distance from Faaa Airport (Tahiti) to the center of Papeete 5.6 km with Streetview. The track almost has an asphalted walkway throughout, important because of heavy traffic in that section. At Rarotonga it's all around 31 km on asphalt. In Moorea, the accommodation is 17.5 km from the ferry, I already "drove" with Streetview and would probably make it on the scooter in 2 hours with breaks at beautiful places. In the other direction of the accommodation, it also will be interesting for about 16 km. Circling Moorea would be 60 km and with breaks theoretically be done in 8 hours; we'll see. Then Aitutaki 24.5 km all around and if so Bora Bora 31 km all around. On the Marquesas and Tuamotus, I will certainly ride it partly. However the scooter easily can be carried by hand in case.

In parallel, I had bought a new scooter with handlebar height 103 cm, which I will take with me. In this scooter, I have filed away the stop, which prevents the complete pulling out of the handlebar. So I can pull out the handlebar and store it separately. The length of the folded scooter then is only 70 cm instead of 90 cm and fits in the flight luggage.

Meanwhile, I have attached a speedo to this scooter. During the first test drive with a speedometer over 21.5 km, I drove an average of 12.2 km/h and a maximum of 30.5 km/h (downhill!). By pedaling you can reach a maximum of 20 km/h in the plane, uphill about 6 km/h.

After breaking the axis of the hinged joint of the Worx scooter I saw it necessary for my safety to exchange this identical axle on the Star scooter. Replacement is a M8 hexagon bolt with 45 mm shaft together with a stop nut.