07.11.2009 - 12.11.2009
We were back in Rarotonga on the 7th of November for my birthday. We put a big day in starting at the Local market for breakfast and we got to watch some of the traditional dances done by little kids. I think Meghan was more excited about this than I was but it was pretty cute.
From here we set out to watch the start of a Vaka race. Vaka is the Maori Name for the ocean going outrigger canoes. The traditional hollowed out wooden boats have been replaced by modern fiberglass versions. The boat's fit 6 people and as a relay team they can make it around the island in just over 2 ½ hours. Apparently the members of the relay team are dropped off ahead of the Vaka in the ocean by moter boat and as the vaka arrives 3 team members jump out into the water while three simultaniosly pull themselves in barely missing a paddle stroke. They do this every 10 minutes for the entirety of the race.
Next it was on to the Cooks Islands 20th annual 7’s in Heaven Rugby tournament. Teams from all over the Pacific come each year to compete and we were able to get in on the action. We had never watched Rugby before, did not know the rules of the game, but still had a great time along with what must have been the majority of the local people on the Island who had turned up for the tournament! After a nice dinner out the evening ended back at the hostel were George and Matt surprised me with a birthday cake they had bought at the market! Perfect.
The next few days were spent idly hanging at the beach, snorkeling, and sending off some of our new friends. The Cook Islands have been absolutely amazing and we would come back again if we have the chance. Other than a little rain 3 of the 18 days we were here the weather has been perfect. Not to hot and not to cold. The locals are super friendly and we never felt pressured to buy anything or felt unsafe. It is going to be a big change of pace once we get to SE Asia and India but this was an excellent and really relaxing start to our trip. My only real complaint is the prices on food (10 dollars for a box of cereal!) and the general lack there of good beer.
1 USD = 0.75 NZD… OUCH
Mori Statue found all over the Island.
One of our favorite snorkeling beaches
Freshwater swimming hole
Coral in the lagoon
Rarotonga Backpackers Hillside Location