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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Cook Islands March 2007 - Image Heavy
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Cook Islands March 2007 - Image Heavy
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2007-04-17 7:17 pm   Permalink

We originally planned to take some friends with us, but events transpired (you know who you are) and we went by ourselves fortunately we were not charged for the vacant bungalow next to ours.

We flew into Papeete, as of April 1st Air New Zealand was cutting back the number of flights, but now direct to Rarotonga from LAX.....hour and a half layover....

I like this glass that was in all the South Seas Airports....

Tiki.....then our digs in Rarotonga...

Cool one bedroom bungalow on the beach. This place was perfect. Only 5 bungalows, a lounge (with some decor from Oceanic Arts...Bob had stayed there recently) where we had breakfast everyday, outstanding snorkling and kayaking out front.

The beaches never had more than a couple of people at any given time...

Nice beachcombing...I found that one about 8' down on some coral...

We were lucky with the weather as our fellow travelers said it had poured for the last 4 days. We had a few hours of overcast each day but the tradewinds blew it out.

I'm so lucky......and she likes tiki too......

Best restaurant (Paw Paw Patch) was right next door.....I had the broadbill fish with taro cooked both as a spinich and a wedge potato...

She had the spicy curry chicken.....

The vegatables everywhere were the best!!!!!Very fresh and tasty.

Some underwater stuff.....

This little 6" clam was shot from above on the kayak....

The guy in the middle was our guide on a cross island hike.....67 years old....

We took the bus over to the Rarotonga Beach Resort. Lots of Tikis here, but more geared to families with lots of activities. Too many people for our tastes and one of the larger resorts. Reviewed already by another TCer. I did like the art, food, and some cool beachcomber lamps......

Next stop.....Aitutaki.....

Dinnertime break.....I'll be back.

I'm Back....I liked that there was always musicians playing in the airports like old Hawaii. On Rarotonga we were welcomed with flower headresses, on Aitutaki, the traditional lei. That's our van driver playing the sparkletts drum...

This place had only 8 bungalows....

Again the weather was with us as they said it rained hard the 4 previous days...

A bottle of beer under her arm and a handfull of beachcombing.....

I was mesmerized by the giant clams.....this one was about 4' across...

Both islands were stunning, the people extremely friendly, all spoke english with a New Zealand accent, not overly developed.....a must see for a taste of the South Pacific....Aunty Lucky took care of us on Rarotonga and Lovey on Aitutaki, their given names, unfortunately their pictures were a bit blurred. This was the best meal ...our last night. I had the fish trio....Wahoo, Ahi, and Mahi Mahi, cooked to perfection...and for desert, homemade poundcake with passionfruit filling a la mode.....heaven. A scooter ride back in the dark with a black sky exploding with a trillion stars, we will return.....

I will be happy to answer any questions......Kia Orana!

[ This Message was edited by: bongofury 2007-04-17 20:29 ]

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The Sperm Whale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2004
Posts: 1553
From: Lakewood California
Posted: 2007-04-17 8:03 pm   Permalink

Hurry Up and Eat!!!

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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3755
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2007-04-17 8:27 pm   Permalink

Gee thanks for inviting your little brother. Hope you get indigestion and mom pulls on your ear about all the money you spent on yourself.

Nay seriously brethren. Thanks for taking the time to post. Makes me want to,...Tune in, Turn on, and drop out.

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Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2007-04-17 8:51 pm   Permalink

OK Spermy......I ate as fast as I could!

Little bro....mom said you can go next time (she always liked you best).

I think that we should get a group of TCers for a rendezvous here .....a Tiki Oasis!

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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1596
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2007-04-17 9:29 pm   Permalink


On 2007-04-17 20:27, Jungle Trader wrote:
Makes me want to,...Tune in, Turn on, and drop out...

Amen, Bruthah! Truly mesmerizing photos, Ron. This one somehow puts it all in perspective.


"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6161
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-04-17 9:51 pm   Permalink

Wow...awesome photography....looks like a great time was had...getting back to basics. That water is beautiful.
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 756
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2007-04-18 08:45 am   Permalink

WOW - every photo couls be a post card. I particularly like the photos of the giant clams - awesome!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5304
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-04-18 09:01 am   Permalink

You are seriously making my ache to take a vacation turn into a groan. Very lovely. Wasn't the last Surviror tribe called Aitutaki?

I don't want to live there, but spending winters there would be all good.

Great underwater shots. What did you use? I got an aqua case for my digital I need to try out in the ocean.

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2007-04-18 09:44 am   Permalink

Thanks everone. I would recommend renting motor scooters. Aitutaki has no public transportation and a cab ride is almost as much as a scooter rental. The bus on Rarotonga stopped by our spot about every 25 minutes (one bus runs clockwise around the island about 50 minutes, the other counter clockwise). It worked out pretty good except the last day where it became very unreliable. We missed getting into town to shop for carvings. Also there are some side roads we would have liked to check out. We are just thinking of this a an exploration for when we return. And you may want to skip what they call "Island Night" as it is their term for "tourist luau".

We went to the Edgewater Resort to check it out....average tasting buffet food and cheesy music. The drumming and dancing was cool. There are different shows almost every night at a different resort, so maybe others are better. One had a fire dance show that might be worth a peek.

Swanky....we used to bring 2-4 of the throw away under water cameras, but with the cost (and bulk) of several cameras, processing, and chance of damage through the screening process, we decided to get a digital underwater camera. We bought the Olympus Stylus 720 SW for a little over $300.00. It will go up to 10 feet deep (they have another that would go deeper I think it's the 710). The conditions have to be just right. Sunny days are best. Seems like whenever I wanted to get a shot a cloud would pass overhead and I would miss it. With a 2.0 gig card (extra) I think we took over 900 pictures and 45 minutse of underwater video. Come on over.....I can bore you for hours. It feels strange at first to dunk a metal camera in the ocean, but it was fine. Supposed to be in the water for no more than an hour (I had it in some times for 3) then dunked in fresh water for 10 minutes. The only thing I didn't like is that it usues a rechargeable battery, so I had to bring a charger along. The bungalows we stayed in both had voltage converters (and kayaks and snorkel gear), so we did not need to bring ours.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2158
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2007-04-18 11:38 am   Permalink

Exquisite photos.
Great report.

Thanks for the time involved in posting and photographing all of that stuff.

I'm certain you enjoy your own lounge more than ever now.

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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5857
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2007-04-18 1:00 pm   Permalink

Thanks Bongo!
If I could only retire at a place like that.

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Coco Loco
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 820
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2007-04-18 1:21 pm   Permalink

Absolutely beautiful photos of an amazing place. Is that guy really 67 years old?

Definitely on our to go/live list. It's a knock your socks off WOW! Thanks for posting the pics.

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Tiki Bird
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 25, 2003
Posts: 850
From: Cerritos, Ca.
Posted: 2007-04-18 2:09 pm   Permalink

I wish i could take underwater pics as well as you Bongofury, thanks for sharing!

"you knew the job was dangerous when you took it Fred"
Super Chicken

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 255
From: O.C., SoCal
Posted: 2007-04-18 2:39 pm   Permalink

Awesome photos and descriptions, bongofury, thanks for sharing.

What is the cost of the flight and lodging compared to Hawaii? How long is the flight from LAX?

How do the Cook Islands compare to Kauai?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1194
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2007-04-18 4:39 pm   Permalink

WOW! Those are AMAZING pictures - and thanks for the info on where you stayed - that is one of the bungalows locations on our short list as well for our trip in January, 2008. We were debating how much time to spend on Rarotonga (which is somewhat determined by flight frequency...), and you pictures helped us to decide to adjust our itinerary from 5 to 7 days & shorten up our time on Moorea, as Rarotonga looks MUCH better.

Mahalo for sharing your trip with us!!!

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