Friday morning Aitutaki and getaway day to home

A long great sleep with usual grand breakfast. A last cloudy lagoon swim and pool swim. Shower and packing. Lunch at Tamanu Beach.

We have our room until our transfer from Etu Moana to Aitutaki Airport. 45 minute hop to Rarotonga. Big crowd at airport.

Some time to kill in Rarotonga before the almost midnight flight from Raro to LA. Our hosts at Etu Moana recommended Tamarind House Restaurant for dinner and it was superb.

I must comment on the unspoiled nature for the most part of the Cook Islands. It has been a refreshing change of beauty, culture and pure type of island life. Meitaki Maata Cook Islands.

Thursday morning Aitutaki

I was given an option to borrow a scooter and did so. A great solo roll around the island.

I came back and got Mariella convinced I could manage a grandma scooter ride down to the north end of the island for lunch and a surprise and she hesitantly agreed. The surprise was the aquatic nature center that farms… clams.

It was a big treat for Mariella, as well as me, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was an amazing kaleidoscope of colors and sizes. We had lunch at the the Boatshed Restaurant with a colorful history and museum. Jimmy Buffett looked like he could have been here. Maybe he has.

On the scooter we hopped and I showed Mariella the Aitutaki Lagoon Villas. She was nervous on the scooter but, was a real trooper.

A long swim in a cloudy lagoon then the pool. Dinner at Sam and Beverly’s and it was lovely. Larry an American ex pat ate with us and it was a real nice evening. Lasagna with salad and passion fruit ice cream. Sam and Beverly were great hosts. They go to Raro for the weekend.

Peace out Tres

Wednesday morning Aitutaki after a cyclone hit Fiji

We had heard that Fiji was hit with a cyclone and the tail of it would cause some storming in Aitutaki. It did. Big swells of waves going over the lagoon reef with high winds and intermittent heavy rains.

My wife sent me out for breakfast in the rain. Poncho man.

We read for awhile and our room was made up. After a couple of hours and the rain had subsided some we went for a walk down the road to Pacific resort.

Lunch in room with short nap the pool swim. No snorkeling in lagoon today. Cleaned up and went to town for the Amuri village presentation of dance, music and singing in what is known as Koni Raoni. It was great. It is only done 2 times per year, Christmas and New Years.

Quick ride home.

Dinner at Sam and Beverly’s. Lamb shank to die for with rice and vegetables and passion fruit ice cream. Peace out Tres

Tuesday morning Aitutaki

I may start to sound redundant but, a lazy rollout, grand breakfast and fairly nice weather. Mariella informed me directly after breakfast that I needed to take a bike ride before she would be ready to kayak and or snorkel in our backyard lagoon. The road and I obliged. I got a different bike, a mtn bike, and off I went.

I headed north toward the airport.

Then went to see some places I had considered to stay at before deciding to stay at Etu Moana. Also the view from Boatshed Restaurant.

The helper from our lagoon cruise Joel. Real great guy.

I returned to find Mariella ready to snorkel. There are lots of fish where we are at. It was great we snorkeled for an hour and a half. Same underwater pics as before with a couple of new finds. Visibility already deteriorating.

Shower, lunch of tuna fish, nap and reading got us to a great dinner time stroll down the beach to Sam’s. Polynesian heaven. Storm coming. Stay tuned. Kia Orana Tres dog

Monday morning Aitutaki

A very lazy rollout after a grand day. Another outstanding breakfast at Etu Moana. It was decided that I would dawn bike clothes and get the best bike I could to cycle into town for the proverbial lunch stuff. Mariella would stay back and enjoy an easy morning. The road called.

I had a 3 speed metro bike with a basket. I got some more air in the tires. It seemed the bike only rolled so well but, off I went into Arutunga harbor.

I wanted to explore some more and up the hill I started. I climbed up to a ridge above town. Very cool neighborhood.

I followed the signs for Piraki lookout. It appeared that the 3 speed internal hub on the bike was intermittently catching and braking the bike causing it to slow. I had a piece of hill that just was not getting it done with the bike so. Not sure I was all the way but I was where I would stop and turn around. The views were cool.

I got down to Maina superstore and got my shopping list. Back down the road I went.

Mariella has a swim in the lagoon while I was away. A swim, shower, lunch, nap and reading for me, before fabulous grilled chicken at Sam and Beverly’s Local Grinds Restaurant.

I brought Sam his pineapple top. Really nice people. Peace out Tres

Aitutaki lagoon cruise

Editor’s note: Featured image photo credit to Nicole Smith. One of the great people on our cruise.

We had the best breakfast during our time in the Cook Islands at Etu Moana. Fresh ground local coffee filtered in French press with fresh local baked breads and pastries. Fresh local fruit, dragonfruit, pineapple, star fruit, coconut, bananas and papaya. Sliced cheeses, ham, tomatoes, eggs, yogurt and cereals with juices or coconut water. And more I do not even remember.

We were picked up by Sean our captain and his first mate Joel. There were ten of us on a very seaworthy metal boat with a big Saltwater Yamaha. A full awning to keep us from “frying like bacon” and the itinerary of seven island tour in this incredibly stunning lagoon. Sean was a great captain and historian. We went to the first island where Survivor was filmed.

The other side of the island proved to be breathtaking with some wildlife.

Another just small sand island and swim. Yellowfin tuna preparation.

One Foot Island idyllic views and coconut palms and Giant Trevally. More about them later.

Photo credit above to Nicole Smith

Another island and lunch stop. Sean has the tuna grilled with hot dogs, potato salad, Cole slaw, fresh watermelon and passion fruit with the best cooked bananas I ever ate. Sean played ukulele and sang. It was Polynesian heaven.

Photo credit above to Nicole Smith

On to snorkeling, with Giant Trevally being fed at times too closely to me by Joel. Everyone got a kick out of seeing me try to miss the 50-100 lb fish. Also the giant clams.

A return to Etu Moana and Mariella got our passports and they were stamped from One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Sean and Joel were great. This lagoon seems like a seventh wonder of the world.

On to BBQ at Tamanu and Nick Henry the manager welcomed everyone personally island style. We had some of our tour group at the Q. Greatest day. Peace out Tres

Rarotonga to Aitutaki

A morning return of e-bikes and a super easy shuttle into the airport had us checked in on the way out of Raro. The flight was great and unlike the littler plane, that held 12, this plane held 36 people and had a stewardess.

Our hotel had a shuttle for us organized and beautiful leis to wear. We are staying at Etu Moana Villas and we are very close to the beach, pool and breakfast. The villa is the most luxurious of our stay.

The grounds are beautiful.

We went for lunch down the beach at Tamanu Restaurant. Two beautiful pieces of Mahi. Down for nap and then I snorkeled from our place. OMG. Let the pictures do the talking.

We had tried to book a lagoon cruise for Sunday. Not an easy task in the Cook Islands. We did get a reservation with Kia Orana Charters. We also made a reservation that Sunday for BBQ night at Tamanu.

Had the best local pizza at Local Grinds with Sam and Beverly. Two lovely people. Sam gave us only his second homegrown pineapple with some passion fruit and bananas. All we had to promise was to return the top.

Peace out Tres