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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .


NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 6 June 2023 | Views [50]

For my birthday we went to Rarotonga. It happened because Jetstar sent me an email saying I had a credit that had to be used within a couple of months! I panicked a bit and thought of a place and booked our tickets. I have always wanted to go there as my sister-in-law was from there, I loved her and have always wanted to see the place she came from.

After dropping our cat to the cattery, our dog to our family and parking our car in the airport parking, we headed into the airport. We only had carry on which is usual for us but when we were in the line to check in I realised I had a pair of scissors in my bag in my embroidery. A man was in the next part of the snake of people waiting, he had a big suitcase so I asked him if he would mind putting my embroidery in there. He didn't mind and in it went - whew!

It was the evening of my birthday that we flew out and we arrived in Rarotonga the day before, wonderful! I got to celebrate my birthday twice lol. We arrived in a bit of stormy weather and it was like flying into Wellington on a windy day, the whole plane clapped when we landed safely. We got off the plane and went straight through, having only carry on, but we had to wait outside customs for the man with my embroidery :)  There was a shuttle to our accommodation, Tropical Sands, which we had to pay $50 for, we had arrived before the last bus and should have caught that for $5 each, our destination was only about 10km away.

We met our hosts, a lovely Hawaiian couple and were given a self contained room right on the beach, upstairs but with nothing underneath. We could hear the waves crashing very loudly on the beach outside. The room had everything we needed, a small kitchen, a queen sized bed, a couch, ensuite and large deck overlooking the beach. The reef was about 15 metres out from the property and the huge waves were breaking and then disappearing as the bottom of them hit the reef and were cut off.

The first week was a rainy one we explored the island by bus and walked a lot. Muri with beaches, lagoon, restaurants etc was 3 km away and we walked there a couple of times. Right by Tropical Sands was a petrol station and attached food shop, we found the cost of things quite expensive there though. There was also a pizza/burger shop next door to it open in the evenings, the food there was great.

Second week the weather improved, we hired a scooter and raced madly around the one main road stopping at everything that looked like anything of possible interest. Not much to see, we went to every museum etc, happy to pay even though they were tiny and not really worth it. We ate out at restaurants in the evenings the food really was really good and not overly expensive which was amazing considering the cost of everything else.

One of the fine days we climbed up to The Needle. It nearly killed me but we made it. The track fools you by starting gently then slowly getting more and more difficult until you are climbing vertically up tree roots. By that time you've got to keep going even though you are nearly dead because of the time and effort you've already invested. After getting back down we got to the icecream van in the main street just as he was closing and sat with him talking about life and lots of different things and sang with a guy from Estonia who was there too.

We went to the movies one night, which just shows the lack of things to do. We did do a show and meal and also went out on the lagoon on a boat which included snorkling and a meal and some fun. Two weeks was a bit long, ten days would have been enough for what there is to keep you occupied. If you want an enforced rest then this is the place.

Just a heads up, it's hard to get information there about anything that's going on. For example there was no bus on Sundays and although we booked a trip on that day and said we would come by bus no-one ever said it wasn't running. It also stopped for half a day without warning on another day when we needed it lol. Got a lot of walking done because of that which was positive I guess. It's not a flash island, if you don't swim, snorkel, sunbathe, or fish then there's not much there for you really.


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