Just another day in paradise

Trip Start May 13, 2010
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Trip End May 12, 2011


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Flag of Cook Islands  , Southern Cook Islands,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday

Well I mentioned the Thunderstorm in the last update, but it was so amazing that i just had to mention it again it went on for hours and the lightning was so fierce that when the thunder arrived the whole room shook. I think that will be the most ferocious weather we meet on our trip I can't believe how a storm can gather so much power, although the locals say they do get big storms here I think even some of them were surprised at last night’s storm.

In the morning it was still raining a bit but by 10:00 it had cleared so it was time to go motorbiking...

We pitched up on a beach by the airport and I went for a snorkel, it was pretty good loads of really colourful fish and the water was so warm, only downside was the number of sea slugs and my tendency to step on them (not a nice sensation). The reason I had to keep standing up was my mask kept letting in water, nothing to do with the quality of the mask, it is an incompatibility of my new facial hair and a nice water tight fit of the mask. So every 5 mins i had to stop and empty my mask trying my best not to step on another a sea slug and failing miserably.

Then we had a problem, the beach was invaded by mozzies, millons of them all intent on sucking our blood. By the time i came back from snorkelling and removing squished sea slugs from between my toes Milo was in need of a blood transfusion, from all the little buggers that had lunch on her.

I guess it is all the rain we have had bringing out all the mozzies, still it wasn’t good, so next time we went out we smelled like a deet factory, that did the trick they wouldn’t come near us smelling of that stuff, and neither would anyone else.

There was a great sunset tonight, and i know you are all going to think i have photoshopped the pictures, well perhaps just a tweek, but pretty much the photo’s were as they came out of the camera, the colours were quite stunning.

We went over to the posh resort on the island just opposite our place to have a look round, it was very nice but just slightly over the top. There was not a grain of sand out of place, literally the workers had been raking the beach so it all looked perfect.... Not for long though.... Me and Milo had a great time leaving the biggest footprints possible, and loads of them. But I guess by this time tomorrow they will all be raked over and all trace of our frantic jumping and stamping will be erased and order restored. Just in case you fancy visiting it is called Aitutaki lagoon resort and spa, and a beach cottage will cost you 400 a night ( includes tropical breakfast) , and minimum stay is 5 nights.

The best thing is, from their 400 a night huts on the beach they have a rubbish view, they look straight onto our 45 a night huts with my bike parked outside, I think we get a better view than them and we got a hire of a motorbike thrown in for free, and they get a tropical breakfast J.

Wednesday

We got a life jacket for milo today so we went out in the kayak, it was good we paddled round the island where the posh people go for holiday and probably spoiled their view for a while. When we got back to our side of the island we went past a few bits of coral and the water was so still and clear we could see all the different fish, they were really colourful.

The weather today was really great loads of sunshine and a lot warmer than it was previously. We had a few hours on the beach just soaking up the rays and going for a dip in the lagoon occasionally to cool off a bit, It was bliss.

On the posh island opposite us they had a wedding today so we sat and watched it with our binoculars, it was very simple with a cook island band and some dancers and a pretty hoop with some flowers round it. It seemed that it was a local couple and they didn’t have many family or friends at the ceremony, but it looked really nice anyway.

When we went shopping today we visited one of the really local supermarkets and bought some wine. The lady behind the counter had a nice head dress with lots of lovely flowers, milo said to her how nice she looked with her flowers. The next thing the lady was taking the flowers off and giving it to Milo, and Milo looked really nice with them on. I think in that one gesture the feeling of the Cook islands can be understood, the people are so nice and friendly and want to please, it was a wonderful moment. The flowers have been watered and put in the fridge for the night to try to keep them going for a few days. On the way home from the shop I had to ride really slow so they didn’t get blown off milo’s head J.

All in all it has been a wonderful day here in paradise in the middle of the pacific ocean on the other side of the world and a universe away from the hustle and bustle of our western lifestyle.

Thursday

Time to get some exercise.... after shopping for a few bits for dinner we went for a walk up to the hills in the middle of the island, from the top we got a panoramic view of the whole lagoon, a full 360 degrees. Dinner was WaaHoo Fish (whatever one of those is) it tasted really nice a bit like tuna. With the fish we did a veg curry and some rice, all washed down with a nice bottle of Merlot from Australia. It went down a treat. I think we are getting the hang of this island life now, the real tricky part is keeping track of what day it is, oh Dear!.

Looking out over the lagoon tonight the stars looked really bright and there are just so many of them. We can’t see the plough (Great Bear) from here but we can see the southern cross, and of course we can see venus, it seems to be following us everywhere on this trip.

Milo is still wearing her garland of flowers, she looks so pretty with it on , just like a flower fairy J.

Friday

We just love this island, it’s difficult to say why it is just a combination of the sand sun and views with the really nice people that live here. It is actually quite tiring driving , not because of the traffic, but because everyone you pass wants to wave and smile at you and say hello. Even if you pass some workmen repairing a house (of which there are many) they all stop working to wave and say hello. It is a simple life i guess but in a way just how life should be totally laid back with no stress. Actually for the first time yesterday we heard a couple having an argument, so perhaps there is some strife here occasionally, it made us smile.

We have been on Aitutaki for a week now and i think we are really into the pace and style of living now. The only decisions are:- do we go shopping, or get the Kayak out, or go sit on the beach for a while or do some snorkelling, life is such a bitch J

Saturday

Woke up this morning and looked out at the lagoon and it looked quite different again today, it is amazing how the light and the weather and the tides change the look of this place, the colours on the lagoon are just fantastic, most of the time you can see 3 or 4 different colours on the water ranging from light green to a really deep vibrant blue. I always thought that the colour of the water reflected the sky and if you didn’t have a blue sky you don’t get blue sea, but that isn’t true, we have seen real deep blues and greens even with an overcast sky.

We had a long walk on the beach alongside the airstrip today. This is the closest we have come to the outer edge of the reef, the waves were not that big today but it was still quite spectacular to see the Pacific Ocean crashing onto a reef just 50 meters or so away. There was a guy in wellie boots walking along the reef fishing for something, it made a great picture. We collected quite a lot of shells and saw some amazing chunks of coral washed up on the beach. By the end of the runway there was a lot of old metal, engines and wheels and boat parts, they looked really old, and when we got back and told Steve where we had been he told us that they were remains of WW2 planes and other vehicles.

Apart from the man walking the reef we were the only people on the beach and we walked for over 2 hours with the sound of the pacific waves as an accompaniment. We really wish we could take some of the pieces of coral back with us but i guess they would get a bit smashed in our bags and were a bit heavy to carry for the rest of our trip.

I think we have been enchanted by this island and the people that live here, it is an absolutely stunning place.

Sunday

Guess what we did today, a bit predictable really, well we went to church. The service started at 10:00, there was a lot of singing, very loud and very good singing, most of the service was in their local language so we didn’t understand a lot of it, the whole service lasted for about an hour and twenty mins. The minister invited us to have some tea with him after the service, we decided not to stay for tea, instead we went back to our house on the beach and had some breakfast.

At the church there was another family of Europeans, later that day we were sitting on our bench watching the crabs and they walked onto our beach. As we talked to them about the service etc we realised they were German, they asked where in England we were from so we said Essex, they said they were also from essex, the lady worked in the essex university doing research, and the man was working on the Olympic site in Stratford, they lived in Wivenhoe. How strange was that, for us to be at the same church service in Aitutaki in the cook islands and both come from Essex in England. They had gone for tea with the minister after the service.

Monday

Went to the internet cafe to post my blog updates today, it was closed so it will have to wait for another day. They are a bit behind the times here with really slow internet 56kbits , and it is really expensive 5 for 30 mins, and 30 mins goes so quickly.

Anyway today we visited a really quiet part of the island just down some dirt roads, it was really nice, and we came across a house that looked deserted, i think we could have quite easily moved in and gone fishing, and stayed a while. Only 2 more days to go before we go back to Rarotonga, it’s going to be hard to leave this place we have really loved it here.
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Comments

Paul and Hazel on

Hi Mo and Ray,

Sorry we have not been in touch for a while. Hazel's Dad has not been good; he is not eating now and is having to be forced fed. Also, my Dad is now in a care home, the Oaks on Hall Lane, in respite, but we expect him to stay there forever. The Cook Islands sound amazing!! You are going to find it very difficult when you get home....but that is a long way off. The German family that you met, was the guy's name Klaus? There is a guy I used to work with who lives in Wivenhoe and works on the Olympics. A coincidence or what?
Hope you are both ok - shame about the mozzie bites! and hopefully we can speak soon on Skype...when Hazel gets on her laptop!!

merenwen1949
merenwen1949 on

Looks like bliss :)
Vaseline on the facial hair will help the mask stay water tight, or so I am told, I don't know this from experience of course ;)

3spirit
3spirit on

Or you could just shave??? Are we to expect a long ponytail and a beard on return? .....Gyppsy!

Love you Pa

P.s. mummy looks like a little hottie, proper beach babe!
x

Julie on

oooooooh, heaven!!!

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