What a week! We had such an awesome time in the Cook Islands and didn't want to leave, but here we are back in freezing cold New Zealand for a month!
We met Lesley at Auckland airport last Saturday to fly to Rarotonga. The flight was 3 and a half hours and the landing somewhat questionable!! The plane was all over the shop when it was just about to land, then it was about to topple over (not exaggerating!) to the left, i thought the engine was going to hit the runway, but it didn't obviously! so it was an exciting start to the trip!!! We left on Saturday 19th July at 7.00pm and arrived on Saturday 19th July at 2.00am.... so we had 2 Saturday 19th July's!!! cook islands is over the date line, so we became 22 hours behind New Zealand!!
The first thing that we did was get our Rarotongan Driving licences!! It is so cool (see pictures!!) all we had to do was fill out a form and then do a little test on the scooters to check we were comfortable and off we went! We hired scooters the next day for a week, and they were so handy! Where we were staying was quite out of town so if we wanted to go somewhere we just jumped on our bikes!! I only went around the whole island twice (it is 34km the whole way round) but Jack went round it about 15 times!!
The first couple of days the weather wasn't great, it was actually quite cold and windy! But it picked up from there and was a nice 26 degrees. We went snorkelling, kayaking, laying around on the beach - which is absolutely stunning, i didn't want to sunbathe because i wanted to look at it!
We met some really nice people there too so there were usually a few of us having some drinks in the evening or going out for dinner. We took part in the 'bar olympics' and came third - everyone had 4 people on their team, except me and Jack it was just the two of us so we had to compete in every event! Good fun, but gutted we didn't win! The Cook Islands food isn't the best - most of it fried food or very expensive restaurants. Their version of KFC is RFC (Raro Fried Chicken) which we had a couple of times after a night out.... as you do!! We had a couple of good meals (mostly seafood) but the best meal we had was when we went to a fresh fish market, got our choice of fish and just cooked it up ourselves - it was delicious and cheap as! Also had some much needed veggies after so much chips etc..!
Our first night back in NZ we will be looking for a good nights sleep - there are so many chickens and roosters on the island, and we were woken up at 3am, 5am, 7am and so on - they obviously don't know they're only supposed to crow once at the break of dawn and then leave us alone! Jack was obviously feeding the wildlife - the little chicks got their bread, the cat got some nice fish and the dogs ate whatever they could get!
A week definately wasn't long enough for us, we had such a good time it's a beautiful island, the locals are lovely, stunning beaches and good weather! Our flight back was on Saturday morning at 2.00am - we lost all day Saturday and arrived back in NZ at 5.00am on Sunday morning... we both haven't slept yet but we are now in Taupo and are driving to Wellington tomorrow so that we can go to the Indian Embassy to get our visa's!
Hope we will manage to brave the cold of the South Island, i'll keep you informed! Enjoy the photos!!
Linsey and Jack xxx