Rarotonga is one of the Cook Islands, and is an "associated state" of New Zealand. New Zealand currency is used there. More Rarotongans live in New Zealand than actually reside on the island. Cook Islands Maori (and English) is spoken there.
We bought local - lime jam, vanilla beans and drinking coconuts from the market, tropical fruits from side-of-road stalls.
|My daughter - buying perfumed coconut oil|
We supported local artists, by buying cards and prints of their beautiful bright works.
|Images of Cook Islands by Tim Manavaroa Buchanan|
The boys toured the local boutique brewery "Matutu" and reported that the beer was very good.
Rarotonga is just beautiful, unspoiled, the beaches clean. Swimming in the lagoon out in front of our villa was like languishing in a tropical fish tank, the water warm and clear, the myriad of colourful fish almost brushing against us as we snorkelled.
|No food scraps are permitted in the rubbish - we were told to put them out for the chooks and the dogs|
I bought a book from the Bounty Bookshop that caught my eye - it was the perfect read for lazing on the Beach. In "An Afternoon in Summer" by American Kathy Guiffre, she tells of a year spent on Rarotonga, and her friendship with 82 year old Emily, who took in Kathy and her two small boys. It was fun to read about the places we had seen, including the Bounty Bookshop. Derek read it too, and also enjoyed it.
I think my late parents would have been well pleased that we used the last trickle of inheritance coming in to get together, because we live in different countries. My parents met in the Islands, and we felt like they were there with us as we enjoyed the Island life and raucously played cards at night.