True Island Paradise
04.11.2009 - 06.11.2009
WOW! Stop what you are doing and book a flight to Aitutaki! We departed Rarotonga on a small Sabb aircraft for the 50 minute flight to Aitutaki. We had only booked 3 nights here so we picked an early morning fight over and an early evening flight back to make the most of our 4 days here. We did not waist any time hireing a scooter and setting out to explore the island. The slow pace of Rarotonga screeches to a near halt here on Aitutaki. Most shops are in the front of peoples homes and the island has and eire uninhabited feel at first.
From above Aitutaki is a triangular reef dotted with tiny islands, or mota, on the south and the east and a long skinny main Island in the shape of a fishhook on running up the west side and over the north. The lagoon here is huge 15k at the southern base of the triangle and 12k north to south. From the air it looked like a bright turquoise gemstone floating in the deep blue see. Most of the accommodation, restaurants, and shops are on the west side of the main island while the lagoon side is nearly deserted. we scooted down around the south side of the island on a dirt path and then up the lagoon side around the “fishhook” to O’Otu beach, one of the pretties on the main island.
On our second day we took out a tandem sea kayak and padded out across the lagoon to some of the deserted islands. We spent about 4 hours in the boat and on the islands and did not se another person nor another boat on the lagoon! If this place was anywhere else in the world I imaging it would be backed with jet skis, water skiing, and boats but here we had the whole place to ourself. We explores an interesting inlet packed with marine life including eels and Robinson Caruso’d on an the Island of EE.
Unfortunately the next day was a rain day but we made the most of it by shucking 6 coconuts and creating an Island botchi setup. Our friends from Rarotonga had arrived the day before and we all were staying at Toms beach cottage so we actually had a fun day entertaining ourselves.
We took advantage in a break in the rain to head down the beach for an Island night that our host told us you could just watch from the beach. The singing and dancing were OK but the real highlight was the fire dancing.
On our final day we splurged for the mandatory lagoon cruise. We set out on a bright yellow Catamaran motorboat for a day of snorkeling and beach cruising. Out in the lagoon the colors intensified and we all were inspired by the beauty of this place. The snorkeling was fantastic and the Islands were amazing. This was the sight of a season of the TV show survivor as well as the UK show shipwrecked. One thing we saw here were Giant clams. They were about 2 feet long and 12 inches high and their flesh was bright blues, purples, and greens. We were treated to a tour of 4 islands, and afternoon snack of passion fruit (YUM!), mango, Paw-paw (papaya), bananas, Guava, and Donuts!, as well as a BBQ lunch of freshly caught tuna and local veggies.
After the lagoon cruise we hurried out to the airport for a nice sunset flight back to Rarotonga for the remainder of our time in the Cook Islands.