1997 World trip – Cook islands

On the 22nd of October I boarded a plane again on my way to stop number three of my around the world trip, the Cook Islands, to arrive on the 21st… Going around the world it was inevitable I had to cross the dateline but still it felt weird to arrive on my destination the day before I left!

We were welcomed at the airport by a singer who jokingly invited the passengers going on to Bora Bora to pick up on of the brochures on the Cook Islands so they could see what they would be missing out on. The humor was good to start with.

Of course I could not resist do do some more diving here on the Cook Islands,  did you expect else? Unlike in Fiji there was not as much soft coral to be seen but the beautiful variation of hard coral certainly made up for that. I was picked up in the morning to go to a small cove where the dingy was located and from there on it was off to the divesite. The process was repeated in the afternoon for a second dive and I must admit, I could easily have got used to this…

The Cook Islands definitely had more to offer than diving only but before I was able to do so I needed to get my drivers license and rent a motorbike. In spite of driving of on the wrong side of the rode initially (In the Cook Islands you have to drive on the wrong, ehhh left side of the road) I passed my test at the first attempt so I was ready to go.

Te Vara Nui Village, Raratonga’s largest cultural village where all kinds of handicrafts were on display. Of course I could not miss out on that although I must admit it was rather tame. The dances were nice to see though and I did not regret going over there.

Continuing my journey I ended up in one of the small villages where a local market was. Considering myself lucky I saw another demonstration of dances, only this time it seemed the dancers had much more fun than at the cultural village.

Of course I could not leave Raratonga without doing the famous cross island trek. The hike led up the valley and across the island under a canopy of native trees to a steep 400 meter ascent of the Needle. It was extremely beautiful and the panorama’s were stunning.

I really had a good time in Raratonga, the biggest of the 15 Cook islands. Although it was relatively small there was enough to do to spend at least a week. And what better place would I find to finish of my stay at the Cook Islands but the beach…

finish my round the world trip at Hawaii