No I did not get to live a whole year in Rarotonga (oh how I am dreaming now) we celebrated one whole year of marriage there. We have just got back from a beautiful extra long weekend, an extra long weekend that just was not long enough. Kia Orana. It started with a warm welcome:
We stayed at the Muri Beach Club Hotel which some might say is too modern for their liking. Yet it was a small hotel not exactly hard on the landscape, the service was efficient and friendly and the food was amazing (and yes we ate other places to compare)
And I would argue that it is probably situated on the best beach in Rarotonga. Muri beach with the crystal clear waters of the lagoon is breathtaking. It offers great opportunity's for kayaking and snorkelling. It has 'easy' access to two of the motu's (uninhabited small islands off the coast) and by easy access I mean you can walk there in low tide.
We also took an afternoon to discover Black Rock.
We ate the most amazing food. Obviously this involved eating lots of fish, but they do amazing chicken and pork dishes as well and we certainly were not limiting our options. I won't get into portion sizes as I am trying not to feel guilty about the quantities that I ate! One my favourite dishes is the Ika Mata. It is raw fish (mine was tuna) marinated in lime juice served with coconut cream. Never mind the taro, kumara and breadfruit. Then there is the Rukau, the cooked taro leaves, Rarotonga's version of spinach. You know what though writing a list just does not do it justice!
Rarotonga's beauty is not just about heading to the beach and eating good food. It's about meeting the people and experiencing their rich culture. One of the best ways is attending an island night, a must in Rarotonga. Actually our day started at the Highland Paradise, high in the mountains, in the morning where we were given a very interesting tour by Danny learning about the history of the Tinomana tribe.
After being treated to lunch we had some time to relax in the afternoon before heading out again in the evening to experience the food, the dancing, singing and drumming, as they tell the story of their forefathers. It is a fun way to learn their history and the performances are stunning. My plate was piled so high with food and I got to sample about 8 different types of dessert.
There is also plenty of opportunity to do some shopping. The best option is to head to Punanga Nui Market on a Saturday morning. We hired a scooter for the day and it's the best way to get around the island. It had hubby reminiscing about his youth and me enjoying the breeze as we sped along the road. Buy yourself a pareu/sarong...I did...or one of their beautiful wooden carvings...hubby did. Of course there was also more good food. You never feel guilty about eating in Rarotonga. There was also more dancing, drumming and singing.
You can't leave Rarotonga without a flower in your hair, a smile on your face and a hope that you will be able to make it back some day.