Shorter days, longer shadows, hiking and big, hearty meals: To me this is what fall is all about. Even in French Polynesia — or at least in the southern Gambier Archipelago, arguably the most remote of French Polynesia’s five major island groups. The Gambiers are where I first experienced the onset of a subtropical winter. We’d arrived from the relatively touristic Galápagos Islands on the equator, where the sun rises and sets at the same time all year, and seasonal changes are measured in rainfall and swell rather than daylight hours and temperature. Suddenly (well, 18 days and 2,700 nautical miles later) we were in a far-flung archipelago with a dry climate, dreamy 5 o’clock shadows, cool, clear water, no hotel in sight, and French baguettes baked daily. Heaven.