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Written by Community Leader   
Saturday, 21 June 2008 10:29
Tales from the South Pacific Life goal #132: Learn to shake my hips as swiftly and rhythmically as the dancing ladies on the Cook Islands. (This ambition comes right...

Either the Captain had too much to drink or he blinked for a moment too long and greetings with kisses on the cheek (although to this day I'm still not sure if you're suppose to air kiss on either side of the face or really kiss each cheek), we departed Tubuai and set sail for Captain Cooks historical landing. Good wind and smooth sailing past uninhabited Maria Island with only seven days at sea and one day of sea sickness. I'm getting better at this! Perhaps I'm cut out for life at sea after all!

Rarotonga is beautiful from afar and grew even more breathtaking as we sailed closer and closer. Pity we couldn't start exploring immediately. After arriving in a new port, we are not allowed off the boat until our yellow quarantine flag is taken down by Health and Immigration. No Sir. No matter how much our feet are itching to run and explore dry land ( or how much we really, really want to use a clean, non-marine toilet), we are left to twiddle our thumbs and stare at one another until we are officially cleared. Some islands are quick and efficient and these are the best. Others.....we wind up waiting an entire afternoon for officials to arrive and check our passports and boat registration. These are usually the same officials that a take our entire stock of perishables for ‘safety’ reasons. It is well known to eat all the cucumbers, onions and apples on the boat before arriving in port. In explanation for walking off with our fruits and vegetables, they claim to be preserving their sacred ecosystem. True, yes, but I think these yummy perishables actually wind up on the dinner table instead of the incinerator.

Luckily the Raro customs was friendly and speedy. They arrived handsomely dressed and took of their leather loafers before climbing onboard to firmly grip our hands and welcome us to their island. Before long, they were offering local advice and inviting us to the island dance show later in the week. (The Health Officer was also the MC of the show as everyone is multi-talented and holds down two or three jobs on the island.) We found out later that the choreographer of the dance show also owned Raro’s popular Whatever Bar!!

Source: TravelBlog

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2008 13:14