Kia Orana Aitutaki :)
Rarotonga Travel Blog› entry 5 of 35 › view all entries
Sorry for the delay on updates!
We'll begin the round up of the Cook Islands where we left off!!!
So, off we went to cycle the island. It's 32 km in circumference and took us 1 hour 47 mins :) (less than the average time of 2 hours!) We thought it was going to be a struggle with some uphill challenges and the wind always blowing against us, no matter which direction we were cycling (EVERYDAY for 4 weeks it was like it didn't want us to get anywhere!)! However, when it came to the crunch it was a piece of piss!
We didn't do much for the next few days as I was a little bit poorly :( we just took it easy and spent one day wandering around Maire Nui Gardens where we saw some interesting plants and trees (just trees and stuff and a super overpriced cafe owned by a londoner, selling things at london prices in the middle of the subtropics! Who would have thought it.). Once I was feeling better we became more active and cycled into town for the saturday morning market which just so happened to be the first day of the 'Tiare Festival'. We saw the contestants of 'Miss Tiare' arrive in their parade floats (which were just cars with loads of flowers on them!), and saw them make their debut onstage!
We spent another of our days at the Cook Islands National Museum which was tiny and housed a variety of native weapons, performance costumes and miniature replica canoes (and randomly a model of the British fleet fending off the Spanish Armada)!! It also had an exhibition of locally made blankets.
The following days were pretty lazy (I know its a chore), we spent them on the beach snorkelling (I chased a pufferfish! But it didn't puff! :( ). The weather was a bit dull so visibility wasn't great (still 100 times better than any water in england though) but we saw plenty of weird and wonderful colourful coral! Some of it looked like brains! Someone had told us how sharp it was and can give infections but it was ok 'cos we held our breath when floating over it (to make us lighter ;) )!! We saw sea urchins with really long spikes, needle fish that had tiny little mouthes on the end of long snouts! and tons of brightly coloured tropical fish.
As all of this was going on, water on the island was running low as their main source is rain water and the hostel was close to running out (it was suggested that we shower every other day! someone even said that in australia they recommend a 4 minute shower! who can shower in 4 minutes?!! ...other than Matt Beale!!!!!!!!!!)! But thankfully the heavens opened and we had a real tropical downpour and got totally drenched taking our bikes back to the shop 50 metres down the road!!
Our last friday on the Island we made a day trip to AITUTAKI!!!!!!!!!!!!! Referred to as 'heaven on earth'! (paradise's paradise!) We were picked up from the hostel (reluctantly as they had us down as Hannah Chidget and Hannah Chidget!!) and taken to the airport where we got on the smallest and prettiest - with flowers painted on it - plane ever to Aitutaki! When we arrived we got a tour of the island (by a local named Brendan who looked as hungover as I felt!) and a brief stop in town which consisted of 2 shops!! Then it was onto the lagoon cruise, stopping at little islets along the way............................ and then just on the horizon i thought I saw 2 familiar looking islands, yes it was tiger and shark island from SHIPWRECKED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I nearly wet myself (and she took about a million photos!)! As if it couldn't get better Brendan told us we'd make a short stop on shark island! (We took a picture of the toilet!) The water there was boiling hot, felt like stepping into a bath.
We got to do some snorkelling too and although there wasn't as much coral as on Rarotonga we did see giant clams and helped some clam farmers scrape clams off slabs! (It was for the good of the clams i think). We also saw huge pufferfish (still no puff :( )!! Between our snorkelling sessions they put on a bbq buffet (all you can eat - thats my kind of bbq!) which was tasty and included locally caught tuna steaks and bbqd bananas. Next it was over to one foot island wherethe smallest post office in the world stands :D and of course we had brought our passports to get stamped (believe it or not in the shape of a foot)!! That was it for the day and we headed back to Raro, slightly sore with sunburn (thats one hot island)!
The next day we went to the market for one last time and purchased a statue of Tangaroa (the God with his willy out!). This pretty much brought us to the end of our trip to the Cook Islands, and the following day we jumped on the plane (only just as the hostel owners realised they'd lost the key to the van moments before having to take us to the airport!!) to New Zealand and the next part of our journey.