The Sun Has Got It's Hat On!

November 12, 2008 - Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Kia orana from Rarotonga. We're pleased to report that the weather's improved from New Zealand and its roasting hot here! We are now on day three here having left Auckland on Sunday evening and arrived here the night before, courtesy of the international date line.

So far we're loving "Cook Islands time" where everything is very chilled and laid back. No-one rushes for anything here it would seem (a bit like me on my way to work really!). We're staying right on Muri Beach on the island's east coast which seems to be the best bit to be in and has a fantastic beach with a lovely turquoise lagoon which has a few wee islands in it that you can walk to thanks to the clear, shallow water.

We spent our first couple of nights in a backpacking hovel that we booked ages ago. It was very noisy and pretty basic and dirty (although somehow its got a 4 out of 5 rating on Tripadvisor!). The final straw was on the second night when Cara was woken up by a sizeable cockroach on her hand. I was awoken by the scream and quickly killed the beast (the cockroach I mean). Just as we were getting back to sleep, I felt another 'roach on my back which was swifly assasinated along with one of it's buddies. The night continued pretty much like that and we barely slept since waking at 1:40am as we had the lights on to help us find, chase and kill the beasts! We went out at 5:30am or so to watch the sunrise over the lagoon and were just glad to get out of our apartment for a while!

Needless to say at 9am when reception opened we were on the case looking for alternative accomodation! Fortunately we found a really nice place just a few minutes walk along the road so transferred to there without any problems. The "Muri Beach Resort" is right on Muri Beach as well, has a private pool, barbecues and is roach-free! There are banana and mango trees on the grounds which we can help ourselves to when we wish. Our apartment is great and has such luxuries as air conditioning, soap, a TV and hot water all of which were absent in the previous place! There's also a spa bath in the apartment and a private terrace overlooking the pool.

We've spent some of our time here on the beach and hired kayaks (now that we're experts having been to Halong Bay!) for a while to head out to one of the wee islands for a bit, which was great fun. Cara's looking forward to going to the local market on Saturday (I think she should write a book on markets of the world to be honest) and there's also a big canoe event/festival on here at the weekend which we're hoping to take in, though Saturday is our last day here. That aside, we need to fit in plenty relaxing, sun bathing and chilling out which is going to be a struggle!

We're starting to plan out our time in the USA - our initial plan is to spend one night in LA then go to Las Vegas for 2 nights (to pay for the whole holiday hopefully) and then finish up with 2 nights in San Francisco. Our money's lasted well but will probably be all but gone by the time we head home so we'll be charging £5 a head to our 3000 picture slide show of the trip, with all guests having to supply their own (and our) food and drink!

Keep working hard!

Richard & Cara


William Coleman:
November 12, 2008
Glad to hear that you are still having a great time and seeing some fantastic places. San Francisco and Las Vegas are good choices but given the choice between those two and the Grand Canyon, I know which I would choose. Don't remember if you have been there on the way out, you have covered so much ground ( and sea!) that I am not sure. However if you have the time and not been there try and fit it in.


Auld Honourary Uncle Bill.
Ric's Mum & Dad:
November 12, 2008
Not so jealous of you now after hearing about the Cockroaches, not what thought you would be experiencing in Raratonga for sure! Still the new place sounds fab...your own bananas and a spa bath & private terrace too, you have a lot to thanks those cockroaches for really don't you?

Have to agree with Uncle Bill about the Grand Canyon....although you must make time for those markets as well Cara!

Looking forward to the £5 picture show ....

Enjoy the sunshine!

Mum & Dad
Suzanne Lipsey:
November 16, 2008
ha ha, loving the cockroach story, i can imagine cara´s scream!! ha ha, life here is good but i´m raring to go again now i´ve had a bit of time in one place! keep having fun! xxx
Lindsay (Ric's sis):
November 18, 2008
Good luck in Vegas....
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