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Monthly Archives:January 2016

PS2018

Happy New Year 2018

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A year

Impressions of A Year In Paradise

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Download a PDF of images and words of impressions by clicking: A-Year-In-Paradise

(if it does not download properly, try this link from Pietro Pazzi Photography)

Glowing reds, burning oranges, golden yellows and soft pinks sunsets

Wind through the palms rustling the leaves to sound like rainfall.

The stillness of sundown.

The ever soothing roaring of waves breaking on the reef.

Blue, and blue and turquoise … no doubt this is where blue was invented.

So little light … lights up the Starry sky.

No pollution lets it shine so true.

Sunny, hot, stormy, windy, humid .. but never really cold.

However, having acclimatised I do wear socks and a hoody when the temperature hits 21C … that is the new cold barrier.

Warm people so easy going, friendly and open. A safe place.

Dancing in warm rain.

Monday to Friday in the shop 9am-4pm. Saturdays and Sundays are for surfing, diving or just plain chilling.

Retail I can do, shopkeeper I have learnt is not my cup a tea.

Too many people, continuous motion, too much stimulating.

Trendy and fashionable … cool surf and beach clothing on tap. New wardrobe every delivery.

Back on the water. Frustration at first … I was an expert 25 years ago … not like riding a bicycle!

But oh the joy when I ride and skim over the surface.

Man those corals can get in the way … so got a second ride with low profile fins.

The lagoon, the ocean is crystal clear, pristine… can see for miles under water, okay almost for miles.

Tropical sea life in abundance.

Awesome whales.

Bathing in the sun on quite white beaches.

Re-discovered “heaven” on earth … Aitutaki … again and again, every time a sense of deep peace and love. Being present, in touch with everything and nothing … such beauty and simplicity.

The Internet, well the connection – when it works it is slow and expensive.

Things are simple. Options are less.

Shopping … when you can find it, and you like it, buy it, buy lots, no guarantee to find it again.

Island time … Island mentality …  lets just say we still in the process of calibrate to Island time … Adjustment in progress.

Chilling on the large terrace. Laying on the bench, cool breeze, wind in the chime … reminds a bit of Bavarian cow bells.

Awesome visitors reminding us of life in the EU & Uk.

We made the right choice.

Love our family.

Ah, the quite times together.

Many long candlelight dinners.

Deepening love.

MMMWWWWAAAAA my Lovely Peanie.

You take me to such beautiful places in oh so many ways.

Live, Love, Laugh …Hold onto nothing

 

One Year

One Year

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Hi All,

….time flies and our first year on the Cooks is over.

So – we’d like to give you an update on what has changed compared to our first 100 days, what did not change at all and what are our new experiences….  Below are the updates …. in blue

and PS….

For all of you that are interested in more regular updates, follow us on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/PeanieSutra

….and/or on our shop website:

https://www.facebook.com/diveandsurfshop/

… and see Pietro’s amazing Cook Islands landscape photos under:

http://www.pietropazzi.de/p778961878

 

  • „Island time“: is the most important topic to be understood and to cope with. Everybody on the island has an own interpretation of the factor time. Basically it is about doing things in a relaxed and convenient way. But – it can also become really tricky regarding appointments… People simply do not show up.  We are living on island time now as well, and (nearly) nobody expects us to do it differently. If we feel that we urgently have to close the shop to chill out – we do so.
  • We are the “Papaa”, the white / European people or expats. We are still Papaa – I just got a lot of new frackles and Pietro’s new hairstyele is pretty much local style (beard & ponytail)
  • Maori is a really challenging language…. The words have incredibly many syllables and each vowel is pronounced separatly… We are doing our best to learn it – and we have great neighbours that help us with it. We can talk Maori basics, and the locals are amazed when we do so. So this is motivation for us to learn more. Sometimes we mix up phrases in a very funny way – and the locals are laughing to death, and keep us in their memories forever.
  • And of course: the people on this island are amazing!!!  No changes 🙂
  • „Go local“: local products are the best, e.g. fish and fruits/ vegetables – and of course the local crafts , tikis, drums, tapas, tattoos etc. What we definitely buy from overseas is cheese & chocolate (Nutella etc. 🙂 Our „Go local“ strategy is clearly extended to New Zealand now. Because I feel that in summertime I also need to eat strawberries (that do not grow on Raro). And Pietro urgently needs clay for his new hairstyle. Last month Pietro went „Bavarian“: He got 5 bottles of Augustiner Edelstoff directly imported by Rebecca (by backpack). An incredible surprise for him!
  • …. and you’ll find a great choice of New Zealand and Australian wines on Raro. Paradise for wine lovers: New Zealand white wines are the best of the world. No changes 🙂 Just another finding: Australian red wines are some of the best ones we’ve ever tasted. Have you ever heard about „Saddler’s Creek Bluegrass Cabernet Sauvignon“? Unbelievable…
  • There is no need to look up the weather forecast for Raro. The weather doesn’t follow any rules or predictings anyway. It is only important to know about low tide and hight tide times – for swimming, snorkeling or surfing. Weather forecast – what is that??
  • Pigs, dogs and roosters… are „components“ of every garden. They always disturb you at the wrong time. But they compensate for the compost heap, just throw the remaining breakfast toast over the balcony railing. The chicken population definitely increased – we are thinking about a kind of „weapon of chicken mass destruction“, as their noise still disturbs our sleep (the whole night, not just the early morning hours…) . We have not yet found a solution. Any ideas? BTW: no guns allowed on the island…
  • Internet is a desaster, slow and expensive… And you can be sure that it dissappears completely while you are in the middle of an internet banking activity. No changes 🙁  Even worse: 2 weeks ago the central Bluesky (=Telecom) station  burnt down. Since then the Cook Islands are offline in terms of telephone traffic. Reparation work in progress – of course on Island Time mode… News on that probably in 2018…
  • Our closed shoes are too small. We are not sure if our feet are growing (too much barfoot…) or we just react more sensitively. Actually – we do not wear closed shoes any more. Next phase: no shoes at all 🙂
  • Coconuts are cracked with a machete. Even small local kids can handle that properly – which is scary!! Pietro nearly cut off his small finger while doing this. But we also had a learning out of it: the first aid kits here are much better than in Germany (3M Technology…) We have not yet enhanced our skills – we now buy fresh coconunts from the locals…
  • The colours of the island are extraordinary & amazing. I’ve never seen such an intense green, blue and turquoise – this is definitely  paradise!!! No changes 🙂 But the colours oft he lagoon of Aitutaki are even more intense. I have to cry whenever I see it (no jokes!)
  • Bread is an even bigger desaster than the internet… No no, as a Bavarian I do not really want to talk about that… Mmhh this is still a sad story – but we found sourdough bread and wholemeal pita – both really eatable.  
  • There are still bank cheques on the island – and they are used! No changes…
  • There is no lime scaling at all! No need to descale the coffee machine or the washing machine. This is really cool… Still cool!
  • Many Cook Islanders wear shoe size 16 (would be about size 52 in Europe, if to be found…) No changes…
  • There is not one traffic light on the island – and only two roundabouts (in town…). No changes…  Nowadays there are traffic jams – about five cars are queuing up because of slow scooters and bicycles drivers (and too many potholes)
  • With so much „traffic“ you’ll get lazy… Maximum distance to any goal on the island is about 20km – but this does not mean that you are always in the mood to drive sooo far (e.g far > 5km). Our house is located in Arorangi, Muri village is on the opposite side of Raro – definitely too far away for a dinner visit…
  • We have a visitor score board. After the Kiwis, followed by the Wallabies, it is a close run between Germans and South Africans for the third position. New score: all kinds of Kiwis, German speaking travellers (Swiss and Austrians are really catching up with the Germans), Australians and South Africans. PS: there are two Italians living constantly on the island, and 18 Germans

NEWS & Experiences :-))

  • Pietro is still the only Windsurfer on the Cook Islands. Mmh, ok, there is a Bavarian Guy (Werner from Bad Tölz) who has a Mistral Board from the 1980s – but I do not think that really counts…
  • But: Kitesurfing is getting big on the Cooks, on Raro and on Aitutaki – and it is great fun. Since a few weeks we have our own Kite-Equipment and are on our way to learn.
  • Photograph is boooooming … images are starting to sell on Getty.
  • Our home is pretty cosy meanwhile… Next step: get Pacific Sky TV to watch Rugby 😉
  • Rarotonga is a kind of „Boom Islands“: everwhere new restaurants, tour operators etc. appear. And the very good news with that is that you easily can find really good coffee now.
  • Small events get really big attention. The islanders love to find a reason for a feast, family reunion and any kind of relaxed get together. And they talk about it for a long time.
  • Within 2017 we had 6 lots of visitors here, which all enjoyed the experience with us :-))) Next year we are out for traveling, getting new experiences from the outer Cook Islands and other South Pacific island states.
  • And finally: For us these main mottos have emerged: „Life, Laugh and Love“ and „Beach life is the best life“…..

So – we hope that you enjoyed the update on our “island life findings”. And excuse us now – we are „Gone Surfing“ & „Gone Diving“ ;-))

Life, Laugh and Love & go well,

Eltje & Pietro

100 days :-)

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Hi All,

„…and how is the life on the island“? – is a questions we’ve heard very often in the last weeks. So…, after now about 100 days (!) living on the island, we thought that we share some major insights about island life, experiences, habits and circumstances with you. What did we find out so far…

  • „Island time“: is the most important topic to be understood and to cope with. Everybody on the island has an own interpretation of the factor time. Basically it is about doing things in a relaxed and convenient way. But – it can also become really tricky regarding appointments… People simply do not show up.
  • We are the “Papaa”, the white / European people or expats.
  • Maori is a really challenging language…. The words have incredibly many syllables and each vowel is pronounced separatly… We are doing our best to learn it – and we have great neighbours that help us with it.
  • And of course: the people on this island are amazing!!!
  • „Go local“: local products are the best, e.g. fish and fruits/ vegetables – and of course the local crafts , tikis, drums, tapas, tattoos etc. What we definitely buy from overseas is cheese & chocolate (Nutella etc. :-))
  • …. and you’ll find a great choice of New Zealand and Australian wines on Raro. Paradise for wine lovers: New Zealand white wines are the best of the world.
  • There is no need to look up the weather forecast for Raro. The weather doesn’t follow any rules or predictings anyway. It is only important to know about low tide and hight tide times – for swimming, snorkeling or surfing.
  • Pigs, dogs and roosters… are „components“ of every garden. They always disturb you at the wrong time. But they compensate for the compost heap, just throw the remaining breakfast toast over the balcony railing.
  • Internet is a desaster, slow and expensive… And you can be sure that it dissappears completely while you are in the middle of an internet banking activity.
  • Our closed shoes are too small. We are not sure if our feet are growing (too much barfoot…) or we just react more sensitively.
  • Coconuts are cracked with a machete. Even small local kids can handle that properly – which is scary!! Pietro nearly cut off his small finger while doing this 🙁 But we also had a learning out of it: the first aid kits here are much better than in Germany (3M Technology…)
  • The colours of the island are extraordinary & amazing. I’ve never seen such an intense green, blue and turquoise – this is definitely  paradise!!!
  • Bread is an even bigger desaster than the internet… No no, as a Bavarian I do not really want to talk about that…
  • There are still bank cheques on the island – and they are used!
  • There is no lime scaling at all! No need to descale the coffee machine or the washing machine. This is really cool…
  • Many Cook Islanders wear shoe size 16 (would be about size 52 in Europe, if to be found…)
  • There is not one traffic light on the island – and only two roundabouts (in town…)
  • With so much „traffic“ you’ll get lazy… Maximum distance to any goal on the island is about 20km – but this does not mean that you are always in the mood to drive sooo far (e.g far > 5km) 🙂
  • We have a visitor score board. After the Kiwis, followed by the Wallabies, it is a close run between Germans and South Africans for the third position 🙂

We hope that this first “island life findings summary” answers at least a few of your questions and give you a better insight in daily life on Rarotonga…

Rainy greetings from THE island

fish

Underwater Shooting

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Kia Orana Guyz & Girlz,

So, since I know live in the middle of the pacific on a little island called Rarotonga, which has a circumference of 32 kilometers, surrounded by so much water, I thought it makes perfect sense to take my photography underwater.

I wanted to do it properly, and the only way is to get an underwater housing for my beloved Nikon D810. I shopped around and settled for the Ikelite system … housing, dome, lights.

Underwater certainly has its own challenges. I dis this one snorkeling and not diving. Which meant I had to constantly, dive down, get close to the fish, set the camera and snap. Wow this was exhausting. Next time will be diving!

Check out the slide show below of the shoot.

Our Daily View From The Shop

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Yo Surfers, even if only internet surfers :-),

We thought we’d share some pics (again taken with my iPhone) of the view from our shop.


View from shop

View from shop

 

Sunset Deck

Sunset From Deck

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Yo Folks,

Here are some sunset pics taken (with my iPhone) from the deck of our new home.

Awesome hey 🙂

Sunset Deck Sunset Deck Sunset Deck Sunset Deck

Sunrise-Muri

Sunrise, Sunset and Moonrise Video Reposted

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Yo All,

We had to reword one of the videos we posted previously because the music we used was copyrighted. Here is the same video without music, unfortunately. Enjoy anyway 🙂

Click here to view the video https://youtu.be/lw3Ss2T9NCE

 

 

moonscape

Images of what inspires us daily

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Kia Orana Guyz & Girlz,

We have two slideshows for you today.

The first one includes images of some of the scenes we see daily and inspires to make the most of life. Peanie finds this slideshow quite moving 🙂

The second slide show is of pictures of Baffin Island taken from the plane that flew us to LA. Yep, the plane windows were a challenge … not so clean and full of scratches … but nonetheless the results are not to shabby 🙂

Chill on,

Peanie & Sweetie 🙂

 

dive-and-surf

The shop is online :-)

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Kia Orana fellow explorers,

We online.

Check us out on our dive and surf website and our page on Facebook.

We have a holding company in the Cook islands which is called Chill Haven.

chillhaven

And this company currently trades as the Dive and Surf Shop in Cook islands.

dive-and-surf

 

Chill Haven – creating coolness and fun for you, wishing you much thereof 🙂

Pietro & Eltje

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We are Loving Our Life :-)) Follow our exciting journey ...

This is a story ... an evolving story ... of two people whos paths crossed just 24 months ago and who are now embarking on an incredible journey together :-) "We have decided to step out of our hectic lives, filled with corporate nonsense and rushed city living, to find a haven of peace in the South Pacific where our goal is to provide others with an opportunity to chill". This website and blog aims to keep you posted on our journey of finding our "Chill Haven”.

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