After only two days, it came clear to us that Atiu was definitely THE highlight of the three islands we visited within the Cook Islands. It was here that the words “unspoiled nature” and “Travel Off The Beaten Track” took on a completely new meaning for us. Continue Reading →
This island is VERY different from Rarotonga and Aitutaki: here, we finally had that feeling of really being on a remote Pacific Island and not just another tourist destination. On a speck of land, 27 square kilometers in size, in the middle of the Pacific with 630 inhabitants, we are among the seven tourists presently on the island! According to our host, more than in the past few months which had been very quiet, with almost no tourists coming to Atiu.
Our trip between the islands of Aitutaki to Atiu was supposed to be swift and relaxing, since we were able to get on the direct flight from Aitutaki to Atiu, which only leaves once a week on Wednesday afternoon. Continue Reading →
After having been on the Cook Islands for more than two weeks, we thought we had to attend one of the typical “Island Nights”. The first one we wanted to go had been cancelled because there were not enough reservations. Our second attempt took us to “Samade on the Beach”, a very nice restaurant right on the lagoon. The buffet was superb, with lots of local traditional dishes. We truly enjoyed it! The dance performance was nice, especially since the dancers seemed to have lots of fun, laughing at the many mistakes they made. Nevertheless, it all seemed a little amateurish. Continue Reading →
Another Motu we stopped during the Lagoon Cruise is called Akaiami Island, which has an interesting aviation history. It was part of the line of defense against the Japanese in World War II and from 1951 to 1960, this vast lagoon was the stopover for the Tasman Empire Airways flying boats. Continue Reading →
Aitutaki’s biggest attraction is its lagoon, which we explored by boat, a “Lagoon Cruise”: We started off in torrential rain, but the weather improved soon and we missed none of the amazing views. Our boat passed a string of “Motus”, small uninhabited islets surrounded by turquoise water. On the way we, stopped to snorkel around a small reef that is the natural habitat of the very rare giant clams. Continue Reading →
Soon we developed an understanding of what living on a remote island like Aitutaki involves. Yes, it is peaceful, quiet and scenic, but that can soon turn into boredom. Continue Reading →
Our enthusiasm for this paradise was a bit dampened when we first set foot in the main store of the village. Except onions and potatoes, there was not fresh food whatsoever: everything is canned, packaged or deep frozen. The shop assistant recommended us another place, where we did find tomatoes and spring onions, but at the check out the kind lady luckily gave us a warning before we paid. Since those precious vegetables are flown in from New Zealand, they are very, very expensive: the tomatoes were 9 Euros per kilograms for instance! So we put most of the veggies back and limited ourselves to four tiny tomatoes and slowly started worrying about what we were going to eat the next seven days. Continue Reading →
A Pricy One Though!
Aitutaki is one of the world most beautiful lagoons surrounded by a triangular-shaped reef. Within the lagoon nestle three volcanic and twelve coral islands in the midst of crystal clear turquoise waters. Continue Reading →
This has not been a very active week! For the first time, we spent eight nights in the same place, a real luxury. We both needed to rest and recharge our batteries before resuming further serious traveling like crossing New Zealand by car. So we turned very, very lazy and enjoyed doing very, very simple things. Continue Reading →