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Trip Start May 09, 2005
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Flag of Cook Islands  ,
Wednesday, May 25, 2005

COOK ISLANDS

Had an excellent 5 days here! I was a bit worried there wasn't going to be much to do, apart from sunbathing, but luckily we were able to get plastered every night and still 'do stuff' during the day...

The first day the weather was a bit glum in the morning and it had just been raining, but by lunchtime it was roasting. We went to hire out mopeds, but had to go to the police station first and get issued these driving licenses -- and if you were unlucky, to do a driving test. For some reason Giggsy didn't have to do one, but I did, and it was possibly the easiest test in the world (first left, next left, left, and then left again -- appox 500 meters long), which I nearly failed because I didn't stop at the 'stop' sign -- even though there was no traffic coming. Anyway, after a bit of a lecturing from the copper, and a bit of sobbing on my part, I had a license! And a moped! And the NEED FOR SPEED! So we cruised around the island a bit for what was left of the rest of the afternoon (getting the peds and license did take 4 hours total! Different pace of life here, yeah right -- they're all sloths!). Then in the evening we went to our first local night, which was cool, and full of people from our hostel. The next day, after a run along the beach (like iron men we were!), we took the peds out again around the island stopping a few times to go snorkling. Saw some quite funny little fish, nothing spectacular because the island is surrounded by coral and had a shallow lagoon all around. The island is TINY! You could easily ride around it in about 20 mins. That night we ended up drinking at the local hotel down the beach and then went back to the hostel where we ended up drinking with some of the other travellers there, but most of them where idoits, and I had to duck away before long because I was getting my ear chewed off by a female version of Mike! However, we did meet a girl who had just flown in, and when we said we were going to trek across the island she asked is she could come along. So, the next day, that's what we did! About a 2 - 3 hour trek across some of the most dangerous and inhospitable jungle in the world, without the aid of a guide! Luckily, me and Giggsy had watched a few episode of Ray Mears Jungle Survival, and I had written a few jungle survival pages for the AM Mag (even though I made most of it up) so if any lions, tigers, or bears did suddenly charged at us from wherever they were hiding we'd know what to do... punch 'em in the throat! Anyway, somehow we managed to make it to the end, despite getting seriously lost. It was quite funny when we got the end though; I was a complete mess, I sweated so much walking up the hill that I run out of the stuff -- no matter how many gallons of water I drank, my body had nothing left to give; Giggsy was covered in mud, he (and me) had stacked it so many times we started to enjoy it; and then Rachel -- who was really skinny and slight, who had done the entire trek in flip flops and drinking roughly a thinball of water -- looked as if she hadn't been on a trek at all! That night we missed happy hour by a minute or two because we watched the locals playing 5-a-side football, it was a big semi-final and they were all really crap, but they were pretty much playing with a coconut. Then that night was another locals night, so more drinks! The final two days were spent crusing around the island, hanging out with the people we had met, and drinking lots of Steinlager. We did manage to see some local dancing, where the girls swing their little booty from side to side in a hypnotising fashion, but the only attractive ones were probably about 14, so you just ended up feeling like a pedo if you stared too long. Anyway, on Friday we had a our last night out and got fairly drunk, but also had to aware of the time because we had a plane to catch at 01:30 hours on Sat, a plane to FIJI...

JFT: The Cook Islands were really good and a nice change from the US. And we finally realised that we were going travelling, partly because we meet so many other travellers who had already been around the world, but the other way around (the wrong way around!). Plus we meet some cool people there who are going the right way, who we will try to meet up with again. One other thing that was good (and we realised that more since being in Fiji) was because the island was so small you could do your own thing. And finally, this was the first place that I realised just how funny AND annoying Giggsy's snoring was going to be...
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