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Archive for the ‘Cook Islands’ Category

Aitutaki II

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Here’re some additional photos from Aitutaki and its lagoon.

Maina Island.

Black oysters in Aitutaki Lagoon demonstrating a black pearl farm.

Honeymoon Island’s pristine sandbar.

Monica, Lewis, and Teking’s buffet (served up in giant clam shells).

The food served by Aitutaki Adventures, including their delicious yellowfin tuna.

Rapota Island.  In the background are the islands of Tekopua, Tapuaetai (One Foot Island), and Motukitiu (all used in Survivor: Cook Islands).

A sunset from Paradise Cove.

Aitutaki I

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

When I booked my flight to Aitutaki in June, I knew that I was saving the best for last, but I had no idea just how good it would be.

As the last major stop on my South Pacific trip, I spent a total of 9 days on the small island of Aitutaki based at Paradise Cove, and although the island is plenty beautiful and tropical in and of itself, the real attraction here is the Aitutaki Lagoon. The lagoon is filled with 15 small, uninhabited islands that are the spitting image of the perfect desert islands. The only real way to see the lagoon is to take day trips on small boats, and since the lagoon is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the South Pacific, I took three of these trips – two with Aitutaki Adventures (the Yellow Boat) and one with Teking. In addition to stops on the islands, the lagoon tours also included snorkeling and all-you-can-eat buffets featuring yellowfin tuna, wahoo, fruits, and salads. The yellowfin tuna prepared by Aitutaki Adventures was quite literally the best fish I’ve ever had, and I’m already planning a return trip just to taste that fish again someday.

Below are some pictures from a lagoon cruise with Aitutaki Adventures and around Aitutaki itself.

My first view of Aitutaki Lagoon.

The view from the dinner table at Pacific Resort.

Fredrick on the Yellow Boat.

I’ve never seen whiter or brighter sand!

The beach at Paradise Cove.

Honeymoon and Maina Islands seen from the highest point on Aitutaki: Maungapu.

Thanks to Ron at Paradise Cove, I learned how to husk, open, scrape, and eat coconuts.  I love coconuts.

Rarotonga

Monday, July 28th, 2008

My next hops after Samoa brought me to Auckland for a night, then to Rarotonga, which is the capital island of the Cook Islands. While on Rarotonga, I spent about a week scuba diving, hiking, driving my hired scooter around, and enjoying the relatively cooler “winter” sun on the island’s beaches.

Rarotonga silhouetting the dive boat.

Edna’s anchor.

Louise on the Cross-Island Track.

My wheels.

A moto (small uninhabited island) in Muri Lagoon.