Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Ah ha. The island is beautiful…you know I’m not one for the hot weather but even the humidity is do-able in this environment. Our room is a bit janky–not Ramada Limited funk, because it doesn’t smell–but it’s a bit run down. It seems that the Cook Islands Lodges has a bit of a bad rep amongst the shop keepers and other hotel owners in the area for being a little “dodgy” (as one lady put it). However, we have paid for five nights and have four more to go, then we will seek another place.

We had Island Night last night for dinner at the Castaways restaurant down the road from where we are staying. It was a buffet of island food…bread fruit and taro pudding and this fish dish made with coconut milk and roasted chicken and potato salad and steamed rice and taro root tops, etc…it was all so good (except the dessert–strangely enough–since the chocolate cake tasted like it was made without sugar). Casey is so happy whenever we buy something since the exchange rate is really in our favor (about two New Zealand dollars to the US dollar).

Lots of dogs on this island…they are really relaxed. There are also plenty of roosters (which make their noise at all times of the day) and strange birds and not so many insects–thank God!–just yet. The people are really good-looking–very strong features and pretty skin, and the children are all really cute (they say “hello” to you as you walk by their house and they giggle and smile a lot). It’s not so touristy–not like Hawaii…as the woman who runs the Castaways and its hotel said, the Cook Islands is like Hawaii was thirty years ago.

Without Don Ho.