Exploring Pitcairn Islands | One of the Most Remote Places in the World

today we’re gonna talk about one of the
least visited places in the world according to Wikipedia it is the least
populous national jurisdiction in the world that means the least populated
self-governing area in the world and really super super remote this place as
you probably guessed from the title is pit current Island current islands is especially special to
me because it’s the entire reason I’m doing this podcast is the entire reason
I am doing these episodes because I got interviewed about my experience of
Pitcairn Islands the podcast was called extremities and many people contacted me
wanting to know more information about my experience there so I figured why I
tell the whole world about Pitcairn Islands so here I am letting you all
know about Pitcairn Islands so if you don’t know it’s a really real let’s just
tell you how you get there okay that will explain everything so I
was living in Singapore and the only way to get to Pitcairn Islands is you have
to get to French Polynesia and if you don’t know French Polynesia it’s kind of
famous because as Bora Bora a lot of people go to French Polynesia to get to
Bora Bora but even French Polynesia at least at
the time I was going to head flights from three places in the world Japan New
Zealand in USA so three only three places in the world flew to French
Polynesia and then once you get to French Polynesia you then have to go to
the most remote areas of French Polynesia but let’s back up let’s start
with my journey right so I wanted to go to Pitcairn Islands and I had to get to
New Zealand from Singapore and of course most people are gonna go many days in
advance but I was working a full-time job which meant I literally left work in
evening and went to catch my flight which was very common for me I’d bring
my suitcase to work and I’d go straight from work to the airport so I did that I
flew to Melbourne on a budget airline and then from Melbourne I supposed to
fly to Auckland New Zealand which is bad I was gonna fly to French Polynesia the
promise my flight from Melbourne to Auckland was full see how it works in
Australia which is kind of weird is once you arrive if it’s a different airline
which mine was you just check-in wet at the where did your gate is so you can’t
check in until they start boarding passengers basically maybe a few minutes
before they board because no gate person no no one for boarding passengers comes
super early and so about 40 minutes before my flight I’m there
they finally show up I tell them out of the flight and then tell me it’s booked
and they’re gonna have to put me on a different flight which isn’t gonna work
because I’m gonna miss my next flight and I’m not gonna make it to Pitcairn
Islands which the boat ticket was quite expensive it was several thousand
dollars so I freaked out for sure the one nice thing I’d going for me inside
been traveling a lot and I’d traveled so many so much that I was a gold status
which allow me to have higher status than some of the other passengers which
means they were gonna make it so I was on the flight and if anything would
happen they for someone else to get bumped so I did get on the flight and I
then get got to New Zealand and then from New Zealand
I caught a flight to French Polynesia and I’ll never forget I arrived at
French Polynesia like 11:00 p.m. and the next day the flight was to the Gambier
Islands which is an island of French Polynesia about four hours away four
hours directly east in four hours you can go pretty far and so that flight
only happens once a week and I remember being so scared I missed that flight
that flight was at 7:00 then I arrived at 11:00 that and the hotel’s being so
expensive being like 160 or $70 a night that I decided to just sleep in the
airport because I figured I’d have a boat ride in the plane flight to sleep
if I really needed to and so yes I don’t think I got almost any sleep because the
airport is not a comfortable place to sleep but I made sure I didn’t miss my
flight and I got on the flight to the Gambier Islands it’s a four-hour flight but the plane is
so small that halfway there you stop on this remote island that has absolutely
nothing it has nothing I mean I’m talking I used
map stop me which is a mapping device that I recommend you use it’s really
nice and they had nothing so to explain nothing they had things in North Korea
they had things in Antarctica they had things everywhere in the world I had
ever gone even Western Sahara in the most remote places in the world but this
island there was nothing on it because there truly wasn’t except the one
Airport they actually did have the airport on it and so and there was just
gorgeous that was what’s so incredible nobody lived here and it was like
paradise though water was gorgeous and then we flew to the Gambier Islands
now the Gambier Islands are so small that the airports on its own island and
it feels like you’ve landed in paradise like this boat ride to the main island
which isn’t that big it’s like like you couldn’t stop looking at the water it
was just so pretty and so then you take and we took a boat and we actually
landed to the main Gambier island and that’s where we’re gonna catch the boat
to Pitcairn Islands now when I went there there was a big festival like
French Polynesia and all the mayor’s were coming to this part of Gambier
Islands for I guess their big meeting and festival meant food and everything
and I know this is about Pitcairn Islands but I have to tell you a little
bit about French Polynesia so because you’re gonna visit there if
you ever go to Pitcairn Islands so when you think of hula necklaces in Hawaiian
shirts you think of Hawaii it’s in the name but that’s not really accurate
because I spent a semester studying in Hawaii doing an exchange program and
when I was in Hawaii I just didn’t see any of that when I was in Hawaii the
locals made because it’s an American territory they want to be American and
so they dressed like your typical Americans and t-shirt and jeans kind of
how I dress in my life when I travel and so you know you didn’t see Hawaiian
culture Hawaiian shirts or Hawaiian necklaces you saw American culture when
you’re in Hawaii but when you went to French Polynesia all your stereotypes of
what you think you would see in Hawaii is what you saw in French Polynesia
right they they acted the same way very jolly hug each other all the time
hula necklaces Hawaiian shirts everything then playing the ukulele as
we got off the the boat so they had basically everything that you would
expect from Hawaii but it wasn’t the wife who’s in French Polynesia so that
was kind of neat to see now there’s only 12 people that take the boat at the time
I was going between Gambier Islands and friendship or Gambier Islands and
Pitcairn Island and the crazy part is one person wasn’t there one person that
missed the boat so even though I was paranoid about missing my flight it was
probably a good thing because one person missed it in on her boat going there
let’s go over the passengers there was a journalist they pay for a journalist
once every two years to write about Pitcairn Islands to kind of promote it
and and of course the journalist husband was going with them there two people for
telecommunications because the internet was working so they’re going to fix
communications that three people that were geologists going to study the rocks
uh they were from Japan they had one person that was was from Pitcairn
Islands and he was traveling with his son back to Pitcairn Islands and his son
hadn’t been to pick on Islands since he was like four and there was actually and
so what the point is besides myself there was only one other tourist who was
75 year old lady who had wanted to see Pitcairn Islands her entire life and she
had finally decided to go and make the trip and so one of the things that was
little you would think that they do a changed it now they have a lot more
they’re able to bring more passengers but the time you were it was a
disappointment because tourism is a big part of their economy and yet here all
the boat spots are filled up with people that aren’t tourists and there’s only
two tourists coming right and there’d be a lot more I had to book my trip
literally three months in advance to go so for those of you that have seen the
previous episode going to socotra island it was very similar length of boat ride
and the one big difference when I went this to culture I jumped on an Indian
boat where they didn’t even have real bathrooms and it was just crazy
whereas this time when I went to Pitcairn Islands I was on a boat by dumb
but like the British or that the British Owens and so I believe is the British
and so because of this they had normal rules like we get on the boat we had to
go over safety right like what happens if you have a that the boat sinks where
to go where the lifejackets are anything the Indian boat I don’t think they even
had life jackets right and and we had a cook well I guess on the indian boat is
a cook too but like they cooked like not saying that indian food wasn’t read but
like this was like normal food you get like at a restaurant so you know and
they had bathrooms real bathrooms and even showers right so this this boat had
a TV and then had everything so it was like a luxury well at least i thought it
would be luxury after the introduction and then we start sailing and the boat
just rocked back and forth the entire time when we woke up everybody the next
day was throwing up and it was just it was horrible there was a DVD I was so
sick you know I was just laying there like I gotta do something get my mind
off how sick I am let me watch a movie or something and so I went to try to put
the the the DVD in the DVD player and all I moved so I decided I couldn’t get
the DVD in the DVD player the boat was rocking so much now of course just so
you understand the TV was tied by ropes and everything same with the DVD player
so they were tied down sturdy and they weren’t gonna move but me I could get
them and get it in it took me forever and that just shows you how crazy it was
I just it was I it was wrong it was a miserable miserable miserable ride going
to Pitcairn Islands but then we eventually saw it we saw this big
Islands not really big I mean it looks big from where you are in the boat but
this island out of the middle of nowhere and that was Pitcairn Islands now see
they don’t have a dock that can hold a normal sized boat so they actually have
to have long boats like that come and pick us up so we have to go from our big
boat to the long boat to Pitcairn Islands where they have a nice welcome
pecan island site and one of the things is when we arrived
there were so many people there I was shocked I’m like Pitcairn Islands only
has 50 people why there’s so many people here at the dock like it doesn’t feel
like that unpopulated right because you normally arrive at an airport and having
50 people around this is you know plus the the 12 people coming in plus the
people on the boat like you have like 70 people right like that didn’t seem small
and that’s because every single person on the island that was there which I
didn’t realize at the time so it just made it feel like there’s a lot of
people now again if you follow my travels I always like to rent
transportation rent a car rent a motorcycle rent a scooter because I want
to see the place because you can see so much more by having a mode of
transportation so I’m picking islands they had quad
bikes which is like a basically it’s the same as a four-wheeler but to be able to
drive one you had to take a driver’s test and so I took a driver’s test with
the police officer and I remember the police officer taking me to his office
his office was a spare room in his house and he joked that he was never late for
work because he knew it was right at his home and that’s kind of how pitcairn
islands work is most people their job or whatever they would do would be a side
room of where they live they’re all had like at home jobs or at least a lot of
them or at least side job so yeah so I took the test of course past and then a
quad bike and again you’re like well Pitcairn Islands isn’t that big so I know pick on Islands doesn’t seem
that big it’s just a few miles but because you know like well you you’re
there for several days can’t you walk it but it’s very hilly and so again if
you’re just going back and forth back and forth back and forth say it’s four
miles that can add up to be a long waste coming back and forth several times so
having a quad bike really make made it really nice because I was able to see
the whole place again it was a lot bigger than you would think because of
the hills one of the reasons I wanted to go to Pitcairn Islands was because I
wanted to see how life was what was life like for these remote people because I
figured if I could understand how these 50 people are able to survive in such a
remote place then really I could understand how people live anywhere in
the world and so that’s exactly what I’ve tried to
figure out so one of the things was how do they have electricity because they
had electricity and obviously they had a generator and so they had this big
massive generator but the big thing to know is from 10:30 at night to 6:30 in
the morning so eight hours per day electricity was turned off now obviously
with cell phones and computers and other things you’ll still have electricity for
hit fewer hours will not electricity but y’all batteries but yeah I was kind of
interesting couldn’t charge you things at nighttime because again electricity
was turned off for eight hours every day let’s talk about hotels so to stay in a
hotel this might come as a shocker they don’t have hotels what they do is
home stays which is a great way for the locals to make money because as you’re
there you pay the locals to stay in their home basically you know just like
Airbnb and so when I did my homestay my guess um on the radio there was an
announcement saying hey the mail has arrived there was a husband and wife the
husband’s name was Simon and he just like jumped out of his chair in like
Randers quad bike too to get the mail why was he so excited
because they get mail once every three months right just get this you get mail
four times a year once every three months so that was kind
of crazy and so you know I figured out different
things because they’re a territory or because the UK still kind of supports
them they get money from the UK which means they get a police officer they get
a doctor they get a teacher they get an administrator and they have a social
worker five paid full-time staff on the island and that’s how they do a lot of
things right so again the school I want to see the school coz I want to say
what’s it like growing up in picker Islands one of the hard things is there
isn’t a lot of kids there was five kids when I was there just five and I believe
four were all from the same family so you know the amount of friends you have
is very limited but then again back in the good old days in America when people
were out exploring the west and different things you know a lot of
families lived on their own as well so you know even my own cousins before they
went to school when they were in Montana they were you know miles away from their
neighbors and you know I guess they had friends at school but they really you
know we’re kind of isolated so and the other thing is they only go to school
until they get to about high school once they get to high school age then they go
to New Zealand and then they go to a boarding school there but let’s talk
about the school the school had one main room in two smaller rooms and so and
again they had a full-time teacher we kind of had to teach five different kids
of five different ages stuff so a lot of times they’d be learning the same thing
they’d have to break in the different groups so it wasn’t the easiest because
even though y’all have a lot of kids they’re all at different levels they the
playground was insane that playground had ropes like crazy that let’s just say
it was dangerous because I tried to climb on the ropes and completely fell
and I got lucky I didn’t get more hurt like I I had some bruises and scratches
from falling I can’t believe they had that ropes course but you know I I guess
that’s what’s loud there I got lucky because when I was there they had the
end-of-the-year school program and because
the end of the year I was they had a performance and remind me of elementary
school when I was in elementary school growing up we they have put on school
performances and not just things but they would have art exhibit and all
these different fairs and events and so that’s exactly what they had that you
can see all their different artwork all their different tests and different
things the teacher you know it was really really neat all the different
things that they were showing the community and then they had a play at
the end where they performed a little skit which was kind of funny and and
neat to see and of course the holy throne with only having five kids is
every kid is required to be in this kit because you don’t have five oh and one
of the cool things about the end-of-the-year school performance is
everybody brought food and one of the foods that was very common on Pitcairn
Islands was spaghetti pizza which is just like it sounds it was spaghetti on
pizza so that was kind of interesting to see and also you could see the one time
there was a traffic jam or not traffic jam but but a full parking lot because
you could see all the quad bikes had came to the school performance and again
this was what was so cool is at the school performance again four kids were
from one family one kid was from another family yet the entire population was
there and obviously the residents were there too are the the tourists and the
people there on short term as well so they had like over 60 people watching
the play performance which you know is a pretty good turnout in any small city so
again because they are such a family like everybody’s a family it didn’t feel
that isolator to that that’s small because you know they all work together
they all work together when the boat arrived they all work together from the
school hired a performance I want to see the store they only had
one store on the island and they had told me that the stocks were running low
because again only once every three months it gets restocked with supplies
so if you don’t get enough or too many people buy a certain item by three
months it’s getting pretty old but the thing that was interesting is even
though they said the stocks are running pretty low and obviously the shelves had
a decent amount food off them it wasn’t much different than me living at home I
hate grocery shopping and so I did the same thing I eat the things I like real
a lot and then I start eating things I don’t like and I just go and try to get
going until I completely run out of food and so I walked around that the store
which is a tiny little store but I was like I would do fine here this is
nothing compared to what I have at home there were tons of options still
so yeah they do have the one store they have a museum that’s all they opened
like two hours and three hours once a week but basically they open they don’t
really go by their hours because locals aren’t that interested they open it up
when tourists want to see it because they have limited tours you know and
that’s kind of a few of the things they did they had a several
ah side souvenirs from you know the famous bounty which we’ll be talking
about in a little bit and you know the head petroglyphs which was really
important because the petroglyphs were were drawn by Polynesians what meant
which meant the first people on the island were Polynesian which we will be
talking about again when we talked about the history in a little bit later
section another thing is when I was coming they asked oh you know they asked
for your visa cuz you need to actually get a visa and have to pay for it when
you arrive on Pitcairn Island you get a visa on arrival and they asked what was
my job and I said I was a dentist and then they asked what they’re like we
haven’t had none of the residents I’ve had seen the dentist in over two years
would you mind seeing some of them so of course wanted we wanted to see them I
thought it’d be a cool way to meet them and it did I was there for four days and
I did spend two full days treating them and I think I treated about two-thirds
of them but the coolest thing was it was a way like you know as a dentist if you
don’t know you haven’t been to Dennis for a while when the dents is working
you can talk the whole time even though you can’t respond that much and your
mold is a bunch of stuff in it but um you know it was really cool because I
was able to talk to them and maybe they couldn’t talk but they would have their
spouse and they had somebody there with them you know their mother or whatever
and so really if I didn’t treat them I either trick I then treated a direct
relative either a spouse or or their child or their their parents so you know
I really got to meet all the residents and it was amazing you know several out
of me on Facebook we’re still Facebook friends and you know you know they’re
not doing that for everybody that visits them so it was really an amazing
experience being able to go there and not just go there but really get to
interact meet with the locals and get to know them so well that I learned there
own health care and everything so that was kind of neat and interesting one of the interesting things is the
tourist map so you know you normally have a tourist map it shows you the
sights but Pitcairn Islands is so remote that tourist map has everybody’s home on
it not just the tourist sites but also everybody’s home by name is is labeled
on Pitcairn Islands I guess that’s one nice thing be due to the safety of
Pitcairn Islands because it’s only 50 people you don’t have to worry it’s so
safe which was really you know it’s nice that it’s nice to have place in the
world that are that safe another famous thing about pitcairn islands is the
honey and this is an interesting story so you’re probably wondering how did I
learn about picking Lions wasn’t the first thing I learned about it well I
have to admit I learned it from a date see I was going I was a single guy
living in Singapore my mom was pretty sad that was still single getting older
and so I was trying to improve my life concerns going on dates and went on a
date with a Singaporean girl who really loved traveling and she had told me
about how there was this place that was really really remote that she got honey
from pure honey because most places you have to add chemicals to honey or the
bees or other things but this place didn’t have to do it because it was so
isolated there was natural pure honey and she had
bought it all the way from Pitcairn Islands and so at the time I had never
known about picked Caroline Islands and I looked it up on Google and I got
really really really interested and so that’s kind of how I learned about it so
of course when I went to pick her nylons I made sure to go see the honey and of
course I went to go see the honey and go see the beekeeper and I’ll never forget
the Hat on me the the Beehive everything except gloves so like the only part that
you would think would be dangerous the part that I actually have to touch with
my fingers had no gloves and good God’s done but you know I was okay
so yeah the Biddy experience was kind of cool you know I haven’t seen it and
you know it’s something that a lot of them do several them do because it’s a
good way to make money and sell things obviously you know I went and searched
everything the landfill I mean they don’t have that many people so their
landfill if they have a lot of land and not that many people see Pitcairn
Islands have 50 people and they have no one basically from the age fourteen to
probably the age forty because what happens is these kids once they go to
high school on boarding school they go to New Zealand in Auckland and they can
actually make friends they can join sporting teams or other events and they
have activities and they find out what that life can be like and they decide to
live there and not go back to New Zealand see every time someone is
getting pregnant and they’re about to have a kid they go to New Zealand and
they have the kid in New Zealand so they become a New Zealand citizen which is
kind of weird because it’s technically a territory of the UK but it’s one of
those weird things where because it’s so much closer to New Zealand the UK has an
agreement with New Zealand that they do a lot of stuff like this all their
supplies did not don’t get shipped from the UK they get shipped from New Zealand
once every three months and a lot of different programs like I said with the
schooling is from New Zealand the the the doctor that was at the clinics that
I worked with he was from Australia I think the cop was from New Zealand so
they work a lot more with Australia New Zealand than they do with the UK but
anyway because of that the islands kind of dying and it’s been something that
you know they’ve talked about on the news and another thing that they do is
the government the UK government subsidizes a lot of things we haven’t
talked about that paid five full-time staff and another big thing they do is
shipping so anything at least when I was there anything you would buy would be
40% more which is not that much when you consider how difficult it’s the ship
there so if you were to buy something for $10 in New Zealand it would be $14
in Pitcairn Islands so it’s not that much more expensive if you do want to
move there they give you a free loan through your housing they give you land
that you can live on and you can’t have to build your own home but again it’s
Pitcairn Islands where that means everybody’s going to help you out with
building that home so now let’s talk about the history of
Pitcairn Islands now I’m doing this off the top of my head the information that
people told me there because I didn’t know the history which is crazy people
can’t believe I got all the way to pick our Islands and I didn’t know about the
mutiny and the bounty I had no idea what those words even meant and so hopefully
some people are watching this also we’re gonna learn about Pitcairn Islands so
here we go let’s talk about Pitcairn Islands from what the locals told me the
British ascent of the ship to get breadfruit from French Polynesia and
they first there’s two different ways to get there you could either go below
South America or below Africa in South Africa and so they first try to go below
South America but the weather was so horrible that they had to turn around
and then go and wasted tons of time and eventually had to go around under South
Africa and get to French Polynesia now when once they got to French Polynesia
because they were so delayed it was not the right season so they had to wait
longer than they were expected now as they told me in Pickering islands what
do you imagine a bunch of sailors that have had a rough time on the boat some
of them didn’t even make it to French Polynesia some had passed away and now
they get to French Polynesia where there’s plenty of food and plenty of the
opposite gender and also the opposite gender was nice and tan because they
were Polynesian and the Polynesian women thought that the sailors were very
exotic and so they had a nice time and so my point of all of this was was once
they’d left after several months most many of the sailors didn’t want to leave
but they had to because of orders and as soon as they got back on the boat like
just like before there was tons of problems and I think another one or two
people may have passed away it was just no I say pass away it’s not easy right
it’s because of being working long hours and having very very very hard
conditions not getting the food or water and so because of that some of the
sailors including the second man called Fletcher Christiansen did a
mutiny which means they took over the the boat they put the captain and all
the other people that were loyal to the captain in a little lifeboat which is
basically like a canoe and they just left them and then they took the boat
and of course they took the boat back to French Polynesia paradise and had a good
life and the captain ended up taking that little boat and making it all the
way back to the UK and when he made it back to the UK the UK was quite upset
and sent out people to go get them because this was treason this was the
death penalty but the people on French Polynesia Fletcher Christian and some of
the other people that had gone with him realized that the British would be
coming after them and it would mean the death penalty and so they decided to go
and run away to a place where they couldn’t be found and they first went to
one Island but that Island had French Polynesians on it and they could just
crank it along so as a story what I was told is in the middle of that night they
took about six French Polynesia men about a bunch of French Polynesian woman
women and that didn’t tell them that where they were going and they took the
boat to this island that was uninhabited that they had read somewhere and took
them a long long time to find it but they finally found it and that was
Pitcairn Islands and then Fletcher Christian who is the leader decided to
make sure nobody would run away or tell the British where they were he burned
the boat and so nobody could escape and yes these people then lived on the
island and now the people living on the island are the descendants of Fletcher
Christian and the other mutineers and some of the French Polynesians now of
course there’s a lot of infighting people were mad at each other Fletcher
Christian was killed several the other Tahitians were killed and but they also
produce babies so my point is when they were finally discovered the only it was
18 years 18 years they were on this island and nobody knew about it and when
they were discovered the only mutineer that was still living was John Adams and
because and then ten years the British decided to resolve
John Adams and let him live out his life peacefully on the island and when you’re
in Pitcairn Islands you can go see John Adams grave he has a grave on Pitcairn
Island so that is why Pitt current islands is so famous and the thing is
that’s why it was interesting because when you’re on pecarn islands there was
a Oh a lady from pecarn islands that had married a man from Cook Islands and the
guy from the Cook Islands looked Polynesian kind of darker-skinned what
you would expect a Hawaiian or Polynesian to look like and he always
thought he’s like it’s really interesting because I’m not the local
it’s the white being people that are local the ones that look British are
actually the locals which I yes interesting it’s the one Polynesian
island where the actually the locals are our British looking and the foreigners
are the French Polynesian look or the Polynesian looking ones

2 thoughts on “Exploring Pitcairn Islands | One of the Most Remote Places in the World

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