I flew out of LA at 10:45pm and arrived on Rarotonga at 7am Monday morning. The plane put down right next to a lush green mountain and had a view of the ocean. It was one of the prettiest landings I can remember. I got thought the tiny airport and was picked up by Lilli, the Vara’s driver.
When we arrived at the hostel, she let me into my room while unfortunately waking up my new roomies. I dropped my stuff and headed to the deck. What an amazing spot! The hostel is right on the beach with a huge deck, big kitchen and lounge and coconuts everywhere! I settled in to a lounge and relaxed. Around lunch time, I went for a swim and after I got out of the water, got into a great conversation and didn’t reapply sunscreen…big mistake. I spent the rest of the week with a back ranging from very red to quite peely. Ick. I got to meet a lot of people that day, and we stayed up late chatting on the deck. It was such a clear night that a night swim under the stars just had to happen. It was amazing!
The next day was overcast, which helped my burn to settle. I lounged around and then headed into town with Louise, Joel, Hannah and Sophie to go watch the local dancers practice at the auditorium. They started with the little kids (sooooo cute) then got into the serious practice which was really impressive. We then headed to Trader Jacks for a delicious dinner. As amazing as Rarotonga is, the food isn’t cheap, so this would be one of only two meals out.
The next day was taken up with a little swimming, some eating (pasta made at the hostel), and a crazy game of poker with Joel. It seemed to take forever, with the two of us going up and down in the standings quite a bit, but I ended up taking the title at the end of the night!
My roomies and I (Joel and Joe) woke up early and Joel and I headed out for the cross island hike.
This was no small feat! We hiked thorugh streams, mud, rocks, and forest before coming out at the peak beside the Needle. It was an amazing view, with the clouds going in all directions due to the position ot the mountains. A Geo-nerds dream! After we got back down, we swam out to one of the nearby islands and explored a little. After that, Louise, Roslyn, Joe, Joel and I headed into town for the cultural show at the Staircase. It so soooo good! The drumming is amazing!!!
Another early morning with bright blue skys encouraged Joel, Joe and I to head down to Fruits of Rarotonga to go snorkelling. The water was a little murky, but we saw tons of big fish, little fish, colourful fish and clear fish. At one point, I stopped to adjust my mask and they started to swim in circles around me. What a crazy feeling! When we were tired out from snorkelling, we headed back to get ready for the big night out. It was off to Whatever! bar to dance like maniacs, then Rehab before getting some fried chicken and heading home. It was a great night that even included some attempts to get fists in mouths…yikes.
After our big night out, saturday morning was a little slow going.
We headed off to the Black Rock for some swimming and exploring. It just seems like everything on this island just keep s getting prettier and more amazing! After leaving the rock, we were walking towards town when a guy with a pick up stopped to give us a ride. We hopped in the back with two super cute little kids. It’s so good that he picked us up, we didn’t realize just how far from town we were. Once back at Varas, Roslyn and I headed off for dinner, as it was her last night before heading back to Canada. Poor girl, going from paradise to Canadian February.
Sunday was my last day on the island, so Joe offered to cruise around on his scooter and explore with me. We had a great time! We found crabs, raced a plane, wandered down a new beach, and drove the entire road around the island. So much fun! He then took me back to the hostel, loaded my and my pack onto the back of the scooter and drove me to the airport. Certainly can’t complain about scooting around with a good looking English boy…What a ride! Hahaha. 😉
It was weird to leave the island. Even though I was only there for a week, it felt like about a month on island time and I made some good friends. It was sad to say goodbye, but great to say hello to New Zealand!