After one week in Cook Islands we felt like we had been there for months! We were totally adapted to the Island time, so to say: taking everything slowly, no worries, live is as sweet as a ripe mango or paw-paw (papaya in maori)!

On Monday we flew to Aitutaki, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the pacific, only comparable to Bora Bora. And yes, the myth is totally true! We took a flight with the only operating company: Air Rarotonga, and after one hour we were there. The flight was a bit expensive, but hell yeah, it was worth it.

In Aitutaki we stayed at Matriki Beach Huts, in front of the most beautiful beach that you can never imagine.

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Aitutaki beach

 

Aitutaki is surrounded by a blue lagoon of more than 12 kms wide, so on Tuesday we went with a lagoon cruise. We did snorkeling in four different spots, amazing each of them: we swam in the ocean and watch the coral reef from there, we saw the giant turtles in their migration, we saw fishes of colours that I had never imagined and shades of blue that I’ll never forget. The cruise included a lunch in a unhabited small island close to Aitutaki (actually Aitutaki is surrounded by lots of tiny islands located inside the coral reef), so we had our coconuts, fish, paw-paw salad, etc.

The other days in Aitutaki were just pure relax: waking up, having a bath, talking with the people from the huts next to ours (Stephanie! Chris! little Tom! Richard!), having another bath. The island is half the size of Rarotonga, and it doesn’t even have anything called “town”, so besides sunbathing and watching the incredibly blue water, not more to do.

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Aitutaki beach with coral reef far away

 

Aitutaki definitely is the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. And probably is going to stay in my Top 1 (besides what The Guardian says) for my entire life. Believe me, the pictures don’t make justice at all. If you ever have time and money, go there!!

On Friday we came back to Rarotonga, and we could understand why they say it’s the big island with the capital, of course, compared to Aitutaki, Rarotonga is huge and crowded!!!

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sushi, tortilla and croquetas

In Rarotonga our dear Nana was waiting for us, so we could have the best farewell to the Cook Islands. So on Saturday we had a Sushi night, she cooked sushi and we did tortilla de patatas and croquetas! hahahaha!

After having a delicious dinner we went to see Avarua’s (Cook island’s capital city) nightlife. Well, I’m a spaniard so… well… it’s hard to define it. I’ll just say that the most important club (yes, I said club, we had to pay 2 NZ$ as entrance) closes at midnight (yes, midnight, a club). But it was a lot of fun! Everyone was having Christmas parties and we danced a lot!

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Girl's night out

 

On Sunday we went snorkeling in another amazing beach in Rarotonga and had more sushi with Nana. And Monday was sushi day too.

So after all, I really want to thank Nana for this. We met her trough Couchsurfing and thank god we did. Instead of staying in a hostel, we had the chance to stay at this japanese girl’s place and get to know the islanders (she had been some time living here already!) and their traditions and manners. Not only she opened the doors of her place but also to her heart. Nana! We love you!

And as you are all waiting for it, some family portraits of us with Nana, with Nana’s landlord Mama Kafo and her daughter too.

Hi north hemisphere! Here is summer!!!! hahahahahhaha! Happy christmas!!!

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Happy X-mas!

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Our rarotongan family

 

Two weeks in paradise. It seems like a dream. But it was real. Bye bye Cook Islands!

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Bye bye paradise!

 

How could I start the summary of these amazing two weeks? I’ve been thinking about this post a whole week and I still haven’t figured it out. Yet I want you all to know about what we did in Cook Islands, a.k.a. The Paradise.

We have been here 15 days, from which we were 10 days in Rarotonga, the main island, and 5 days in Aitutaki, another island from the southern group. So let’s be organized and start from the beginning: Rarotonga.

Rarotonga is a small island, as we already knew, and it´s totally green. We couldn´t stop thinking that it was exactly like the Lost island, with a small mountain, all covered in green, the palm trees, the sand, even the white smoke (here they burn the coconut coverings and every evening the island is full of small sources of white smoke).

The coral reef is close in some parts, but in some others leaves an amazing blue lagoon in which you can swim or snorkel. One of the favourite spots of the islanders is the Muri beach. And we agreed. It left us speechless!

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me at the Muri beach

 

The best way to move around the island is to hire a scooter, which is possible from 20 NZ$ per day. But for that you need the Cook Island´s drivers licence. In our case, Ina took it, so she had to pay 20 NZ$ for the licence and 5 NZ$ for the driver´s test, which consisted of following a line and coming back, yes, as you hear it. Just for the record: in the Cook Islands nobody wears a helmet and the maximum speed permitted is 40 km per hour with scooter or 50 km per hour by car. Well, considering the size of the island and the fact that you can do a whole round the island trip in half an hour, the speed permitted is more than enough!

So, once settled in our house, with the best host ever (our dearest Nana deserves a special mention apart!), we started getting involved in the Island activities. We went to the Dance Practise on Tuesday, and thank God we did, because on Wednesday we had to dance in the Prime Minister Reception! So, Cook Islands had a new Prime Minister just when we arrived, and that Wednesday they were giving him a reception in  Avarua, capital of Rarotonga and Cook Islands, and our landlord Mama Kafo invited us, so we were in a high level dinner surrounded by all the local authorities and eating delicious food with our hands. In the reception we could also see the traditional Cook Island dance, yes, that thing about girls moving their asses and guys moving their knees, it’s just awesome!!

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Prime Minister reception in Avarua

 

The day after, Thursday, to keep with the dancing sessions, we went to an Island Night, which is a dinner in a resort with typical food and traditional dancing too. So, we could actually see how the traditional dance is in the Prime Minister thing and how they show it to tourists in the Island Night, and we have to say that is exactly the same: the same effort, the same energy, and the same colourful kind of dance. They show to tourism exactly what they have. We chose Crown Beach Resort to see it, and it was a total success.

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Rarotonga dancing

 

On Friday we went to a BBQ, invited by Nana. So we could hang out with locals, talk to a french girl who has lived here for a couple of years, and try the delicious and truly blue Parrot Fish. It was so nice! On our way back, sunset in Cook Islands.

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Parrot Fish
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sunset

 

Saturdays here are an exciting day: the Punanga Nui Market takes place. Yes, is a typical market with fruit, food, people. clothing… but hey, I bet you had never seen such papayas, mangos or coconuts!! And the traditional pareus (sarong) hand-dyed with amazing colours, and all the food sold: raw fish marinated in coconut cream, fried flying fish, chicken, paw-paw salad (papaya with curry sauce, delicious!!)… Oh, I can’t think about the Cook Island food anymore… I think I have never eaten such delicious kinds of fish anywhere else!!

By the way, we are total experts in coconuts! I totally think is the best fruit ever: green coconuts are the juicy ones, with a lot of water inside and a really special jelly coconut meat; brown ones are the ones used for their meat, they have just a little liquid, more sour, and a huge amount of meat. In Cook Islands you can just have a coconut everywhere: palm trees totally cover the island, and islanders really make use of the island’s sources. Ina even learned how to open a coconut! Yum yum… coconut water… I could have it forever!!!

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Drinking a coconut!

 

And the first week ended with a visit to church. Mama Kafo (the landlord) invited us, so we went to a maori worship. Of course we didn’t understand a single word,, but we saw all the traditional hats they wear, and heard their songs.

So, first week was over.

Kia orana to everyone!

I’m writing exactly from paradise. Cook Islands are the closest thing to paradise, I’m totally sure about it.

This is incredibly beautiful, green, just pure.

I have huge problems writing this post because this is the oldest computer I’ve seen in ages and I can’t write a whole paragraph because I don’t see all the letters.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that we are fine. This is more beautiful that we even expected. We are being treated as if we were queens, people is really really nice here.

We will upload pictures as soon as we get to New Zealand. On the meantime, think of us drinking from coconuts, eating mangos under the sun and just enjoying Island Life.