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Paradise found

Ripping Raratonga

sunny 27 °C
View RTW2paradise on ledsmith's travel map.

So now in the Cook Islands – this is definitely what you imagine the South Pacific Islands to be - and the sun has come out! A very small island – you can drive around the perimeter in an hour at the 30mph speed limit – beautiful white sand beaches ringed with palm trees – and all surrounded by a reef off shore so that there is incredible turquoise blue water all around and up to the reef. Then the interior is steep and mountainous deep green jungle, and all mysteriously shrouded in mist and clouds – very Jurassic Park.
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Everything is clean and neat and tidy – apparently no severe poverty here – beautiful flowers and trees everywhere and even the capital – very small – is only a collection of neat shops and a restaurant or two! The islanders are all New Zealand citizens – with NZ social security – which probably accounts for a lot – however conversely clothes etc are quite expensive and handicrafts are not as cheap as in other places!
The hotel is great – not too big – with little houses – with bedroom, living room, verandah looking over the pool and kitchen ( although not using the kitchen!!) – and all surrounded by beautiful gardens, flowers and trees – hibiscus flowers in every imaginable colour, red, pink, yellow, white, orange and loads of different palm trees! Also lots of beautiful smelling flowers – frangipani etc so that you get the scents in the evening.
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At first we wondered if a room looking over the sea would have been better – but then heard that the incredibly loud roaring sound of crashing waves for 24 hours a day and the strong wind through the trees did not make for a relaxing sleep at night – so we were happy to be where we are where the crashing sounds are only in the background - although we are still very close to the sea!
So far we have mooched, and sunbathed – did some diving which was OK but not as amazing as expected – the knock on effect of a passing cyclone which seems to have followed us from Bali – to Fiji – to here! Incredible underwater visibility is meant to be the thing here but not on this trip. Plus passing hump back whales – but only in July/ August – so we did not choose the season very well!
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Now getting to the stage where we are losing track of days – but very aware that time is passing quickly and that this is the third week now!
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Posted by ledsmith 00:48 Archived in Cook Islands

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Now I really am jealous! And you are missing the snow - hopefully it will all be gone by the time you return....

by Liz Coulson

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