Here are some pics from the holiday in Rarotonga. Pictures, clockwise from top, are: our accomodation, myself on the balcony, Island Night entertainment at the Staircase , a pic from Steve's diving, Steve on the bike, sunset in front of our accomodation, a pic from Steve's snorkelling, a Cook Island Christian Church and cemetary, another snorkelling pic, Muri Beach from Wedding Island, having drinks at the Crown Beach Resort (where we also had our wedding dinner), Steve and I overlooking the lagoon while on the Raro Safari Tour, and Steve cooking dinner on the bbq.
We spent two glorious weeks here, renting a bike to get around the island (it only takes about 45 minutes to drive around the entire thing). When we first arrived in the middle of the night, I was a bit concerned as it didn’t look like much, and the only thing you could hear was roosters crowing (to my surprise, they do it more than once and not just at dawn!). The hostel we stayed at was fantastic, and our beachfront unit was more flash and gave us more privacy than a lot of the other places we saw when going around, at a quarter of the cost. Mt first piece of ID in my married name ended up being my Cook Islands driver’s licence. I got it for the novelty factor, rather than practicality, as I suspect many tourists do. It’s obviously just a ploy to bring in more tourist dollars.
Burials here often take place on resident’s personal land. I was struck by this at first as I wondered what happens when the land is sold, as it would seem unusual for the same family to own the land generation after generation. They have a different system, however, for land ownership. Land can only be leased for 60 year periods from the original owner, with the option to renew, but not the right. This is quite brilliant as it ensures that this place can’t become overrun with tourists buying up holiday homes and pushing up costs for the locals.
Having an entire two weeks on a beach island was incredible. I definitely like the attitude towards taking vacation time in this part of the world. People go on ‘holiday’ for anywhere up to a month or more…and workplaces are ok with it! It’s actually a bit sad to be back in Auckland now, as it has yet to warm up much and we just miss the beach. We went snorkelling (me once as I found it a bit alien feeling and scary…hey, I’m a city girl), Steve went diving (note the underwater pics in a deeper blue are from the dive), did a ‘safari tour’ and got far up in the hills, and just hung out on the beach. What struck me about Rarotonga was the fact that it so much less built up and touristy than any other beach holiday I’ve gone on. At first, I thought it might not be all that, but as time went on, I enjoyed it more than anywhere else I’ve been, largely due to this aspect.