Forget the Caribbean. It's all here. Nice people, low prices, great food and wonderful beer.
A person can walk to a bank ATM without worrying about being mugged. There is no begging. Clean, green and modern. There are supermarkets with everything you might need. A beer brewery, Cook's Beer, is brewed in a small warehouse with a modest sign that says; Free Beer, TODAY!
I enjoyed Cook's Lager and the Cook's Blonde. At least six or seven times. You have to pay for the beer after the first three tastes, but at $3.00 NZ (about $2.00), the value is definitely there. A proper craft beer for the fraction of the cost in the NZ/Aus regular beers.
There is only a few reasons why I will come home, but I can get a good sense why so many New Zealanders and Aussies choose to spend time here. It is a real Margaritaville.
And the Locals actually welcome us foreigners.
Yesterday, went to the market for breakfast and watched the opening ceremony for the "Constitution" celebration. Independance from New Zealand was in 1964, but the island is proud of their new heritage and still hold onto the British legacy with much pride.
The celebration started with the hula dances by ladies and men, a dance troupe came in from Slovenia (WTF???) and finally wrapped up the morning with a closing prayer by a Pastor who howled out an amen that sounded very close to a witch doctor's prayer.
Culturally, there is so much to describe, and the sticky keys of this internet cafe computer is not helping me in any way.
Boat wise, we are in a very bumpy harbor, rollers are bouncing us around on our Med-Moor. We have to take a dinghy from the ladder to the boat, which is about 25 feet off the seawall.
Air temps are very mild, when cloudy it is about 72 degrees, and windy. When the sun is out it can get quite warm and humid. Luckily, it is winter here, so it is not unlike St Augustine on a warm December.
Last night we went to the National Auditorium for more cultural dances a (They closed wtih the special guests, Slovenia!). The show was handled like a very nicely done High School production, but since everyone knows everyone else here, it had a very nice home feel to it all.
Oh, you could get a plate of homemade dinner outside the Auditorium for 4.00 NZ.
Pictures will be available later, when I can get some bandwidth.
Signing off from Rarotonga, Cook Islands!
Glad your first experience is a great one! Looking forward to more!
...a dance troupe came in from Slovenia (WTF???)
The beer, Darryl... the BEER!
Well, you convinced me I should go (see above) but there's this lil matter of an expired passport. And a general unwillingness to fly ANYWHERE.
When I was there two decades ago, there wasn't much in town in the way of night life. Has that changed? Are you going to sail to Mangaia or any of the little atol style islands?
One more question-- when I was there I learned that the fishing simply wasn't all that good and was surprised. Has it improved? Was it due to over fishing or some other thing like the currents, etc.??
Truly I am green with envy and very happy for you. I'd love to have some Cook's beer and do me some KIM Jong IL hula dancing with you all!!!
LL; I have not had a chance to fish. AS for the night life, I have only visited the Cook's Brewery which is not a pub, and as for food the main restaurant I went to was the "Curry Nest" which was excellent Indian.
Jihad; Kim Jong Il style Hula would be very much in place, everyone has a GREAT sense of humor, around Rarotonga.
Buck; Fill out the application online for a passport, mail it in with your expired one and they will have a new one to you in two weeks.
THE SOUTH PACIFIC ROCKS!
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