Atiu to Rarotonga

An early breakfast and then a 1 hour mtn bike ride around the main town going out to the harbor. The gears were rusted into the middle ring of the crank but it was great.

I went by the Maroa bush bar where impromptu homemade beer parties take place. The Cook Islands have a staunch religious back ground and the family we hiked the cave with could not leave on Christmas Day until 1 pm in the afternoon. Air Rarotonga runs on religious times during the holidays.

Editor’s note: a few more images of Aitu.

A great but, bittersweet send off from the general manager of Atiu Villas. The signage at the Aitu airport.

Image or two from plane.

Back to Muri Beachcomber we went like clock work after getting our bags to ride to hotel.A snorkel in our lagoon. Rather disappointing. A plan would start today about tomorrow. Still beautiful as ever. Lunch at Pacific Resort.

A dinner of coconut lamb curry from the night market. Delicious again! Peace out Tres dog

Rarotonga ride and sea scooter

I had found a local provider with a fat tire e-bike and I wanted to ride half a day with Mariella and later that afternoon I would go with Ariki Adventures to spot on Rarotonga and go on a turtle safari with a Yamaha sea scooter. The bike was huge and difficult at first for Mariella. The e motor lurched a little when you started out. I swapped the e bike I had with her and realized quick she needed me to ride behind her to protect her from the traffic in the left hand lane. Not our usual custom.

We made some stops and then we found the Tropical botanical garden. This made Mariella’s day. They seemed to specialize in ginger plants, helliconia plants and tropical palm trees that were clearly not native. Beautiful place.

We stopped at a snorkeling spot called the Fruits of Rarotonga. We passed the Queen’s representative’s residence. The road was just so cool next to this great beaches and water.

I motored back in with Mariella had a good lunch and readied for the turtle safari.

I was 63 years old and I had snorkeled for 31 plus years and had never used one of these things. I regret not renting the Go Pro that mounted on the sea scooter. I had my camera but it appeared it was set on something not auto.

A quick class to run it. The sea scooter was for use in an unfavorable current as we went back through a passage back toward the sand bar as we started. Pictures from the guides. Picture of us using sea scooter

OMG. The biggest Moorish Idols I had ever seen. All kinds of fish then hawksbill turtles feet from me looking at me. Dozens of them. Incredible. Big green moray eel. I was able to correct some of my turtle pics. Amazing experience and Ariki Adventures was also excellent.

Muri Lagoon.

A lovely meal at the Nautilus Resort.

Aitutaki tomorrow. Peace out Tres

Christmas Day on Atiu

We understood that the Catholic Church would have Christmas Day service at 9 am. What we did not understand was the mass and singing would be in English and in Maori. The dialect used by Cook Islanders. There was a baptism that morning as well. We were the only foreigners in the church and were graciously welcomed. The Maori singing with male and female harmonies accompanied by electric organ and 8 string ukulele was enchantingly beautiful and local.

We returned for lunch and some swimming and rest. Reading on our deck with the great grounds around us.

Another great dinner at the villas.

Aitu on the cave tour day

We met our guide, Ben, for a cave walk into the Anatakitaki cave in search of the indigenous, cave dwelling and echo locating bird only found on Aitu. The Kopeka bird. The walk was hard while de scrambled across sharp old coral rock that was once the ocean floor. The cave was amazing.

It had openings to the outside and then went back into itself.

Ben. Sweetest man. Great guide.

We went further into the cave and saw where the Kopeka bird lived. We turned off our lights and could here there echo locating sounds made. It was a life list walk.

We walked out and Ben took us to Super Brown for lunch takeaway.

We went back for swim, shower and nap. Another great community meal. This place is amazing. Peace out Tres

Rarotonga to Aitu, Cook Island

Ate at the night market last night. Coconut curry lamb. Fab!

It had rained all night and was not sure we would leave. I was assured that we would due to the higher wind capacities of the smaller Air Rarotonga planes used for Island hops.

Aitu has 376 people living on it and it was a Pacific paradise. Roger the owner of Aitu Villas picked us up and showed us around the island as went to the villas.

The grounds were beautiful. We ate some lunch from the pantry in the room. Napped then went with my snorkel stuff to the coast down the hill and Mariella walked into town.

Tried to snorkel but not much. A family staying at Atiu Villas had rented the car and shoved me in. A great community meal of Wahoo. Cave tour tomorrow.

Peace Tres