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Tonia rediscovers Rarotonga, 2014

It has been 3 years since I last visited Rarotonga and there have been some great changes but the friendly warmth of the people is still there.

There is still the two buses that travel either clockwise or anti clockwise around the island on a regular basis which is a great way to travel and at $5.00 one way or $8.00 return its very economical.  There are nominated bust stops, however in the typically friendly Cook Island way, visitors can simply flag down a bus from anywhere and in most cases the bus drive will stop.

While in Rarotonga you won’t be short on options for dining out with chefs serving up a delicious blend of Pacific and International Cusines.  There is a tendency to eat early in the Cook Islands so as a result many restaurants will close their kitchens as early as 9.00 PM. Saturday is Market Day at the Punanga Nui Markets 6.00am – 11.30am. The markets offer a wide range of fresh local produce, cooked food and treats, drinking coconuts, art, jewellery, carvings, handicrafts, t-Shirts and pareus.  Generally there are live traditional dances and bands performing live.  

A must to look at is the array of Black Pearls available in Rarotonga, all stores that display the Member of the Cook Island Pearl Guild sign will supply a certificate of authenticity with your newly purchased Black Pearl.  Colours of genuine black pearls actually vary greatly from pale golden pearls through to dark gold, pink-greys, peacock hues, right through to very deep dark mysterious orbs.  Always remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you like it, and it suits you then buy it.  It will always be a treasured reminder of your time on Rarotonga.

Island Time does still exist and the easiest way to get in the mode is to take a walk down the beach, turn around and walk back at half the pace – now you are starting to get in the groove of Island Time.  You know what they say “When in Rarotonga, do as the Rarotongan do!”