Cyclones, Cyclones and more Cyclones

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
Trip End Aug 15, 2005

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Flag of Cook Islands  ,
Thursday, March 17, 2005

"Kia Orana"
Long time no entry.
It is our final day on Rarotonga and a quick update on what we've been up to before we head back to New Zealand to meet up with our Mums.

When we got on the plane from Auckland to here it seemed a little odd that we were getting on a Jumbo Jet just for the short trip to the Cook Islands. It was only during the flight that we found out why. The guy sitting next to Liz on the flight explained that that all the flights for that week had been cancelled due to there being 4 Cyclones on Rarotonga in the last 2 weeks and they had put everyone from cancelled flights on to one plane. Bear in mind the Lonely Planet says that to expect cyclones once every 25 years. However, we still did not think too much of this until we arrived at our resort and found it to resemble a building site. Apparently the first cyclone had hit our resort and all the tiles by the pool area were damaged, the kitchen was wiped out and there were various other stages of repair going on. Not the start we were expecting!

Even though they were now flying again the weather had not improved so much and for the first 3 days all it did was piss and I mean piss down all day (6 inches of rain in 1 day). This meant that we did not get up to much and due to the storm our TV in our room could not get a reception, so after endless games of cards and reading of books ( I have read 6 in 2 weeks) on the 3rd day we were starting to go a little stir crazy. It got so bad we decided to brave the elements and check out the main town a few kilometres up the road. After waiting 20 minutes for a bus and getting exceedingly wet through, we somehow managed to flag a taxi down,this is no mean feat by the way as there must be only about 6 on the whole island, and asked to be taken into town. At this the taxi driver asked us why, to which we repiled "Oh just to check it out and maybe use the net". It wasn't until we got there that we realised why she had asked us. The whole town was dead, all the bars and cafes were closed, we had picked the one day when everything shuts down because it was sunday tomorrow and they are very religious so church on sunday morning is a must!. Drenched and a little disheartened we tried to get a cab home but none of them were answering so we started our 5 km walk in the pissing down rain really starting to dislike this place.

Fortunately the next day things cleared up and things started to look up. Liz spent one hour in the sun with SPF 12 on and returned to our room with a burnt face and stomach (after just one hour and that's with a tan!!!). The ozone layer here must be really fucked!!.

It is not all doom and gloom though as when we moved over to the other side of the island we found a beautiful beach and had some sunny days, so we have topped up our tans prior to our Mums joining us. Also before leaving we managed to cycle round the whole island and I walked to the top of one of the hills where I really noticed all the damage that the cyclones have done with lots of fallen down trees and debris left all around the island.

Also a quick mention must go to the Cook Islanders themselves who must be the fattest and friendliest people of the whole world.

We are so much looking forward to getting back to New Zealand as there is going to be much more to do, and the added bonus of the temperature being a bit cooler as it has been so hot and humid here that as soon as you go outside you are covered in sweat.
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