Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Kia Orana! It's our last day here on Rarotonga (pop. 10,000) Cy and I have burned backs (i blame the parents) and we stopped counting the bug bites (Mum and Dad seem to be immune as Kiwis) but what a stunningly beautiful island and lovely people. The seas are ridonculously azure, the crushed-coral beaches bridal white.











Mum at the botanical gardens, not to be missed

We went to a music festival
Quite a lot of lying down
Cultural extravaganza
More lying down

We hired bikes, it takes two and a half hours to get round the island. Mum, 76, did well because she got on,, fell off and got back on again. 

Mum, 76, and Dad, 78 leading the way

We took a small plane across to Aitutaki and boated around its outer islands which the Australian passengers said was the most idyllic islands they's seen, just like Bora Bora apparently. 






Our hotel, the Pacific Resort, is small and private and beautifully landscaped, like staying with that rich friend with good taste that you havent met yet. ( where is that jolly friend? Im tired of paying for hotels..) 


We ate loads of fruit but we also ate loads of burgers done kiwi style ( kiwis use loads of beetroot, grated carrot and pineapple and fried eggs on burgers). The fries here were the best i've ever tasted - crunchy on the outer, softy on the inner. 



Tallulah serenaded us everynight with tunes like Valerie and Lucky while Dad expertly measured out the Gin and Tonics.


Most everyone goes to church here. Went to Easter Sunday church and the congregation invited us back for their pot-luck brunch:  baked bananas, taro cakes, raw fish and pork and carrot cake to die for. 




The swimsuits all turned out well, specially liked the swimsuit and cover-up trou by Helen Jon and cover-up by Elif. For health and safety purposes you will be spared swimsuit shots.




We met some lovely people. The Beach Hut boys laughed more in one day at work than most people do In a  lifetime. 


They are grateful for what they have. And gracious. It's very humbling. No tipping here. Still, many here only earn $5 an hour and they live very simply ( though health and education are paid for ) and sometimes it must be hard to reconcile that with prices and what visitors spend  - one day we paid NZ $8 for pot of tea.

Hope you're all well? I'll post more snaps when I get back in two days. Until then will be a day on the plane trying to practise gratefulness and scratching my itchy bites...

41 comments:

  1. what happened with the long sleeved swimming vests mum took over?

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  2. Gorgeous images! Safe journey back to the States.

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    1. Leanne - love your take on the Kiwi bacheloretting today on your blog

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  3. Oh Jody, Those images...to die for....What a gorgeous spot for a 'lie down' vacation. The people look so friendly and happy. I can tell that you and your family were treated verywell. That image of you and your son is priceless. You know I love a travel post! Fabulous! Safe travels girlfriend! xx

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    1. I always think of you when I by the seaside, your dress in Portugal by the ocean

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  4. Fab pics Jody! Do pass along my regards to Captain Cook and his gorgeous islands.
    What a great beauty our Talluleh is becoming before our very eyes.

    Re: those 'Jody Constrictor Pants': do you change by rubbing your bum against a rock and shedding them???

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  5. Love the photos - looks so idyllic. The people of the Pacific are just such happy, lovely welcoming people. It's a true paradise.
    I'm also wondering where my rich friend that owns an island is?

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    1. Yes, would they please identify themselves and stop faffing around!

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  6. Just stunning. It's like a happier better equipped version of that place in Lost

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  7. Oh I want to go there!! looks heavenly........it is so great that you have your ma and pa in relatively good health and can share good times with them...looking forward to seeing the rest of the pics..x

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  8. what a gorgeous spot! and looks so relaxing, and frankly warm compared to New England at the moment! We had the same experience in Fiji some of the nicest people on earth who live quite simply. A beautiful place to visit

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    1. I have yet to get to Fiji or Samoa. I really loved Tonga too, we kayaked around there decades ago

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  9. Oakland AWAITS!!!!!!
    Good grief...................PARADISE.
    Was the water warm?

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    1. Water was just the right temp, not too bathwatery

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  10. Great to hear your trip has been a success - you all looks so happy and relaxed - all that sun, sea and gin I reckon!

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  11. Looks like paradise, wish I could go one day. You look great Jody and with your Mom and Dad leading a way (how cool is that?) you have great journey ahead of you!

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  12. Gorgeous photos. That fruit plate! Sounds like paradise. And good on your parents for cycling as they did.

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  13. Seems like a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing the photos!

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  14. Ooh, aren't you lucky going to such a stunning place?! It looks abfab! :)

    Glad to see you dad's got his priorities right too. :)

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    1. Yes he has the three fingers rule when it comes to pouring gin - or is it two fingers? very technical anyway

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  15. Stunning photos of a stunning place. Those beach beds look so comfy.
    I wonder if I can find a cruise ship that goes there?

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    1. I know. I wanted to take those beach beds home with me! Yes there is a cruise ship that goes all around those islands

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  16. Hey Jody! Not sure if you remember me (Karen Harvey from uni days) but I love reading your blogs and have done so silently (and feeling a little uncomfortably voyeuristic) for some time. You always make me smile and often make me laugh out loud - love it!
    Anyway.....I now have to break my silence and say that I love that you loved the beautiful place that was our home for 11 years!

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    1. Karen!!!! I am so so glad you left a comment, so cool to hear from you!
      Now I remember you guys were there for a long time. The court house is the most poshest building in town - did you spend a lot of time there?
      That must have been amazing and what a great place for your kids to grow up - would love to see you if you are ever in Ohope Beach for Christmas
      PS keep commenting!!!

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    2. OOPs just read my comment and need to point out that Karen and her husband would have been in the courthouse because they are lawyers.

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  17. That looks so amazing. Adding to my bucket list right now.

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    1. They served some good wines there too! (NZ of course)

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  18. I wish we had made it to the Cook Islands when we had our extended stay in NZ in 2013. We flew to Fiji instead and stayed on Denarau Island which is basically a cluster of somewhat generic resorts. Not much local flavor but our boys thought the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet was the best thing ever!! Just got my new Sunset magazine and saw you and your family in there...and your wonderful home!!

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    1. That's what I suspected about Fiji as many people said they didn't venture into the town at all.
      My kids love all that all you can eat and hussle bussle

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  19. It all looks fantastic, but can't stop imagining how good that carrot cake must've been.

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    1. It was - it was the type that had icing that you actually eat all up (instead of take off)

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  20. Jody loved this! Reminds me a lot of Fiji and the wonderful people there too. Your kids are so lucky to have these kinds of vacations. I'd like to bike around the island!! x Kim

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    1. The guy who rented us the bikes said he did it twice every morning before 7am - he was buff.

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