• Day7

    Farewell to the Cook Islands

    October 18, 2019 in Cook Islands ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We woke up on Friday morning to blue skies and a lovely, warm day. First off Jane had a complimentary foot massage provided by our hotel which she much enjoyed.
    Bikes are available for guests use so as we wanted to see as much of the island as possible we set off. Rarotonga was fairly quiet but compared to Aitutaki it is a metropolis! There are a few cars and a few scooters and as you cycle round you wave at each other, all so very friendly. The island is quite beautiful with many colourful flowers and absolutely no rubbish, there are numerous signs telling everybody to keep Aitutaki tidy. Interestingly in Rarotonga you often see and smell bonfires as it has been customary for islanders to burn their rubbish but not so in Aitutaki. The houses are quite widespread and everybody seems to keep chickens as the sound of cock a doodle do is frequently heard and hens with baby chicks are often seen.
    The highlight of the island is without doubt the lagoon. The colours are indescribable and the whole island is ringed by sandy beaches and the coral reef a mile or so out to sea. We went down some remote grassy tracks, saw many land crabs called tupa. They live in holes that look like rabbit holes and are some way from the sea. It was hot though cycling and we were grateful when we came across a couple of local ladies who offered us some mango which they peeled and sliced for us. When I asked how much their response was that it is a “gift from God”.
    Being a small island they are a very close community. The mango lady’s son was part of the crew on Thursday’s cruise and when we arrived on the island our taxi driver said that her nephew was piloting our plane.
    We leave the Cook Islands with great memories of the friendly people, the superb scenery and good food.
    I’m writing this as we are now back at Rarotonga airport awaiting our flight to Auckland where we cross the international date line. It’s quite strange that we leave Rarotonga Saturday afternoon where we are 11 hours behind UK fly four and a half hours to Auckland who are twelve hours ahead of UK so it will be Sunday evening when we arrive!
    It is raining as we wait for our flight but I’m buoyed by the fact Leicester beat Burnley, England and New Zealand both won their quarter finals and meet next Saturday - the banter has already started!
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    Tom Scott

    Pleased to see that so far everything is living up to expectations!