Trip Start Sep 12, 2007
48Trip End Feb 25, 2007
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I arrived at Rarotonga airport at 2am, January 30th, having left Auckland at 9pm the same day. This was all due to the crossing of the international date line, meaning all the hours lost due to time changes as I've moved around the world were given to me in one go, so now instead of being in front of time in the UK, I'm now way behind! Interesting to have the same day twice- although I think I'll time it for my birthday in the future!
The first thing you notice about the Cook Islands is how quiet it is. The Islands have a population of 18,000 and spread out over 15 tiny islands spread out over an area the size of Western Europe and the pace of life is positively sedate.
I am staying on the largest of these islands, Rarotonga,- a volcanic island surrounded by an atoll reef. The vast majority of my time here has been spent at the beaches of this reef, occasionally snorkeling, bust mostly reading and sunning myself, getting the last bit of sun on my trip before I head to the winter of the Northern Hemisphere and my final leg across the United States. I've also hired out a moped for the week, allowing me to navigate my way around the orbital main road of the island and take in the many different villages en route.
I've been into town a couple of times, but the nightlife is as quiet as the rest of the island life, and all is closed by 12 most nights! The people here are incredibly friendly, as it is nowhere near as developed for tourists as other pacific islands such as Fiji, making tourists more of a novelty than a commodity.
Overall, it's been a fantastic place to recharge my batteries from the frantic pace at which I traveled New Zealand before I take in the equally frantic cities of San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York before my final flight home, now quite clearly on the horizon!