Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cook Islands: Paradise Found!

A couple of weeks ago, these two characters, the beautiful duo that is my mother and sister, headed out from STL to spend 30-something hours traveling to the far reaches of the South Pacific to the Cook Islands where they were greeted at the airport by yours truly. A happy reunion ensued.

they were just as fresh-faced and perky when they finally got to Rarotonga.

Myself, I had arrived in Rarotonga in the middle of the night. I left Invercargill, NZ, at about 10AM on Thursday, and arrived in Rarotonga at about 2AM on Thursday.... figure THAT out!  It pushed me to my mental limits trying to coordinate my flight with theirs. But I did it, and I had a chance to get our placed settled and catch a few hours of sleep before they got in that afternoon.

Poor me, huh? I had to hang out in this place for a few hours by myself... This was the view from our room. Beachfront Bungalow? Yes, please.
We had the left half of that building. And in that little sandy area past the row of palm trees lived this big guy:
Our Neighbor Pig, Rooty.

Once we got all settled in, Tera had to thaw out from the rough winter she had just endured. 

Then we went on our first beach walk!

 And look what we found:
Those are BLUE STARFISH!!!


There are stray dogs everywhere on Rarotonga. The black one ended up being our favorite, and we called him Scooby Dude. It was hard to tell him apart from a lot of the other dogs, but the thing that set him apart was that he whined if you got close to him, and would full on cry if you pet him he loved it so much. He laid under our chairs or hammocks if we were hanging out at our beach. And he helped talk down the crazy 3-legged dog that was guarding that part of the beach. He was like our version of Sacagawea - making peace with the natives for us.
Scooby Dude keeping watch.

The view inland. There are some great mountains there. Stay tuned for another post about hiking up there!

Beach View. There will be a lot of these from the trip. I promise they are all beautiful.

There is a large lagoon around the each of the Cook Islands. The waves crash way out against the barrier reefs, and then the water is mostly very calm at the shore. And crystal clear. and just the right temperature. Can I go back yet?

This was the view from the beach right in front of our bungalow. Doesn't really get better than this.

And this is the sunset view on our first evening. The sunsets were ridiculous. And in both places we went, we were staying on the West side of the island, so I will warn you now that I will be posting a lot of insanely beautiful sunset pictures.

The trip started out great, and just kept that going the whole time. Stay tuned for more! I'll tell you all about it! 

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