Why I loved Rurutu, French Polynesia

To be honest I had never heard of Rurutu until a few weeks ago when I started researching this trip to French Polynesia. I had never been to the Austral island group either. Rurutu excited me because it seemed raw and natural and for me it was brand new. Those two words are pretty much the two best words to describe Rurutu; raw and natural. Here's why I loved Rurutu, French Polynesia.I flew into Rurutu on an prop plane from Papeete. I landed during a massive storm. After landing the rain stopped and I was greeted by the owners of a lovely guesthouse with a handful of bungalows. The grounds were very floral and colorful and smelled fantastic. It was backed by a mountain and fronted by the ocean. It was tranquil and a great base to explore Rurutu. After dropping my stuff off the owner took me on a driving tour of the north and west of the island. I was surprised how green everything was and although the weather was still cloudy, it felt bright and colorful.The highlight of this part of the tour was probably Mitterrand's Cave. It was named after the former French President as he visited a few decades ago. The cave was fantastic and fun to check out. Rurutu is famous for caves and turns out this would be the first of many I would see.Meals were always good and I never left hungry. For breakfast they gave you an entire baguette, like you'd buy on the streets of Paris, so you were never hungry. Dinner was a la carte and each night was very good. They also had a good bar and of course cold beer! My second day would be the reason why I loved Rurutu. I got a guide named to take me on a really rough hike called the Lost Track. It was basically along the coast, starting and ending on different beaches with a lot of climbing, caving and cliffhanging in between. The views on the hike were spectacular of the many caves and the ocean below. There were several difficult areas of the climb that would not be suitable for everyone so just be aware of your limitations. Plus be sure to bring both water shoes or flip flops plus hiking shoes or sneakers. After the hike I met up with a few French people staying at Le Manotel and the owner took us for a tour of the south of Rurutu. The south was much more beautiful than the north and I really enjoyed the tour. I didn’t even mind the whole thing was in French. My French sucks, but it’s enough to understand and get by.On my third day I was pumped to do an excursion to swim with the whales. Massive humpbacks come to French Polynesia and specifically Rurutu each year to breed after they’ve fed for months in the waters around Antarctica. From the moment I landed I could see these massive sea creatures playing around in the ocean.I had seen photos but had never swum with these guys myself. So I was pumped. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really cooperate although in my photos it may look nice out but that’s when I snapped the photos. It was rainy, the wind was howling and that created really choppy water and huge swells. This made the small dinghy very uncomfortable.As you may recall I don’t like boats in bad weather; hence why I chose not to go on my expedition earlier this year. It was rough but we were still hopeful. Unfortunately the only 2 whales we saw were mating at the time and the guide said that was a bad idea to mess with mating whales. Seemed like a logical thing to me, I mean don’t poke the bear!