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Off To Rarotonga
Old 12-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #1
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Off To Rarotonga

In a couple days we will be on our third trip to the Cook Islands, as close to paradise as we have found. Found a good deal thru COSTCO (!) of all places. We made some friends who we will not be seeing this trip as they have moved to an 'off island', Mauke. We liked Aitutaki and expect to visit Mauke on another trip Our friends have the only 'guest house', it has air conditioning--if the wind is from the west and running water--if you walk a few feet from the hut into the ocean.

Amazing place, DW & I would spend much more time there volunteering in a local school but she has an elder mom we are looking after, kids and grandkids here.

This place is so great I hope it doesn't get 'discovered' and spoiled. Yet I know the locals could use tourist income too. Maybe we can have an FI/RE meeting there
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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Wow - how jealous I am!

When those drums start beating I expect you to get up and dance with the natives!!!

Audrey
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Back From Raro
Old 12-21-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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Back From Raro

Wonderful week in the South Pacific. We like Tahiti and Fiji but Rarotonga and the smaller Cook Islands are our favorites. Here is a photo of DW & I behind the infinity pool in front of a lagoon with great snorkeling among the coral and fish.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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Where is rarotonga located ? Is it near Bora bora or Morea ? I was at both of them years ago and the snorkeling was the best I had ever done . Have you been shark feeding ? That was a one time adventure we had in Bora Bora .
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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Well, did you dance with the natives?? Inquiring minds want to know!

Audrey (who grew up in Fiji)
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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Wow, warm, sunny, tropical waters and palm trees--can't imagine what the appeal is! Very jealous here
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:03 AM   #7
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Well, did you dance with the natives?? Inquiring minds want to know!

Audrey (who grew up in Fiji)
Well, yes, on "Island Night" where the locals secretly turn the visitors into the entertainment I did actually win the male Maori 'warrior' dance competition against other visitors but it wasn't fair, this was our third visit. My body is still in pain from the use of long unused muscles.

We liked Fiji, went there a few years back. The small islands are wonderful, had kava with the chief in villages without electricity. Wonderful singing welcoming us the the village and wading back to the small boat taking us around.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:29 AM   #8
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Where is rarotonga located ? Is it near Bora bora or Morea ? I was at both of them years ago and the snorkeling was the best I had ever done . Have you been shark feeding ? That was a one time adventure we had in Bora Bora .
Maybe the Wiki will help location & other information: Rarotonga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is a drift snorkel in Raiatea/Tahaa near Bora Bora, (you see the Bora Bora mountains in the back at the end of the video ) that is the most remarkable single snorkel experience I have had, the video does it little justice. http://www.worldscubatravel.com/Tahi...Snorkel1-2.mov
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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... I did actually win the male Maori 'warrior' dance competition against other visitors ....
From this I assume you did a good job of sticking your tongue way out and down while making a really fierce face.

Way to go!

Audrey
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the report and photo. Say hi to DW for me.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #11
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So jealous of your trip, yakers!
Some friends of mine are back home for the holidays, but heading back to New Zealand to pack up their boat after a wonderful adventure sailing the boat from Charleston to New Zealand. Amazing. His pictures from the South Pacific were fantastic.
Drew and I worked together at a chandlery and I swore he'd never get that boat off the hard--but he did it!
Drew and Margie's Sailing and Travel Blog — Get Lost On Purpose
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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My favorite islands in the world are Moorea and the Big Island (HI) since they are safe for travelers, have decent infrastructure and retain the feeling of remoteness that most island lovers desire. Are the Cook Islands easy to get to (i.e. one layover in Hawaii or Papeete?) and is the travel visa easy to obtain?

The islands of the South Pacific are so magical to me. The first time I discovered what a true "lagoon" was I was taken aback since it seemed almost too perfect to be natural.

How is the snorkeling and the other adventure activities in Rarotonga? Also, how easily accessible are the other Cook Islands from one another? Finally, given that they are a British protectorate is English a commonly spoken language there?
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:10 PM   #13
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Wow...count me as envious, too. Looks wonderful!
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:26 PM   #14
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My favorite islands in the world are Moorea ... Are the Cook Islands easy to get to (i.e. one layover in Hawaii or Papeete?) and is the travel visa easy to obtain?

The islands of the South Pacific are so magical to me. The first time I discovered what a true "lagoon" was I was taken aback since it seemed almost too perfect to be natural.

How is the snorkeling and the other adventure activities in Rarotonga? Also, how easily accessible are the other Cook Islands from one another? Finally, given that they are a British protectorate is English a commonly spoken language there?
There is now a once a week direct flight from LAX to Raro, used to have to change planes in Tahiti which my wife liked for the flavor but I prefer the shorter time getting there. I think of Rarotonga as Moorea without the bigger island of Tahiti. Much in common in size, flowers, snorkeling and I find the people even more friendly in Raro. More like the Marquesas really. Outstanding snorkeling, diving, fishing and inland jungle adventures. We got PADI certified there but just snorkel now, can see plenty that way.

I understand the magic, and we love it and intend to explore further corners of the south Pacific. We are looking into Tonga, Samoa and other more remote places. One of the few times I wish I was a yachtee, to get to these places.

English is very common, everyone you are likely to meet speaks at least some English, but they do drive on the left side of the road
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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Thx for the reply re the direct flight from LAX to Rarotonga...this fact makes this destination a spot to definitely further research for future travel. It seems close enough to Tahiti to perhaps combine both destinations into a single trip.

After reading the earlier post about the couple from South Carolina who have lived the fantasy of the globe-sailing yacht life I have to admit I daydreamed a bit more about that life as well. "Sailing" by Christopher Cross as a lifestyle is certainly a dream for many.

Anyway, so many islands so little time...
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