Off line for a week

Aitutaki

Kia Orana Folks,

You will find that the next week will be very quite from our side. Tomorrow (16th Apr) morning we will be off to Aitutaki where we will be spending 7 nights on an isolated Motu, called Akaiami, with no connection to the rest of the world.

See ya on the other side 🙂

Pietro & Eltje

Time to get some supplies

Kia Orana Folks,

If you like tropical fruit and tuna, the Rarotonga market is the place to be. Oh and off course you gotta like colour … it is really colourful.

Did we mention how cheap the yellow fin tuna is here … and it is extremely fresh … all caught the same day.

RaroMarket RaroMarket-15 RaroMarket-14 RaroMarket-13 RaroMarket-12 RaroMarket-11 RaroMarket-10 RaroMarket-9 RaroMarket-8 RaroMarket-7 RaroMarket-6 RaroMarket-5 RaroMarket-4 RaroMarket-3 RaroMarket-2

 

Gotta go, surfs up 🙂

Pietro & Eltje

Peanie Gets it … her Scooter Licence

Pink Scooter

Right, so the journey continues …

Day 7 (April 7) – Police Station, Part 2

I (Peanie) joined the club of Cook Islands driving licence owners 🙂

Click here to watch the “Peanie Gets It” video on Youtube.

As I have no German scooter license I also had to go through the practical test for this vehicle… This movie about my preparation and final test will make you smile:

Sunny regards,

Eltje (examinee) & Pietro (motivator and cheerleader)

Our List of Top Beers in the South Pacific

Asahi beer

Right, so coming from Bavaria, and having several followers of our blog living in Bavaria, and many others having an appreciation for beer, we thought it would be a good idea to start our list of top beers we have found in the South Pacific. Good idea, oder 🙂

So, here goes, beers sampled thus far (in the Cook Islands), listed in order of preference:

  1. Asahi (Japan)
  2. Matutu (brewed on Rarotonga, Cook Islands)
  3. Stella (Belgium)
  4. Tiger (Singapore)
  5. Fosters (Australia)
  6. Pure Blonde (Australia)
  7. Tui (Indian)
  8. Heineken (Belgium)
  9. DB Draught (New Zealand)
  10. Lion Red (New Zealand)

Yep believe it or not, the best beer tasted so far down here comes out of Japan … who would have known!

Asahi_Beer

And nope, I have nothing against the New Zealanders, even if they can not play rugby :-)))

But nothing comes close to the good Bavarian beers … still world number one for me remains Augustiner Edelstoff 🙂

So, much more tasting to undertake … keep posted 😉

Prost – Cheers,

Pietro & Eltje

And so a week passes by

Raro Beach

Hi All,

we are one week on the Cooks now – what else happened?

 

Day 3 (April 3) – Find the hidden places

Sunday. Each and everybody rests on Sunday. Shops are closed (at least most of them), church service is a must and local families meet – you can see them everywhere.

And we went around Raro with our scooter, which is a distance of about 40km. To see what’s new on the island, to find some new awesome places and probably to reassure ourselves that we still love this island 🙂

Stop 1:  Beach – for our first snorkeling on this journey. There are many snorkel and dive spots and you’ll be surprised sometimes who’s swimming with you. Check it out here:

Click here to view our snorkelling video on YouTube.

Stop 2: Supermarket (an open one…) to buy fresh tuna – because unfortunately Pietro didn’t catch a fish at Stop 1 😉 Also a place to meet the locals. They bring their self-cooked food and sell it there, and take the opportunity to taste the food prepared by others.

Stop 3: Looking for two other resorts we are interested in. We just found one of them. A completely different kind of location, beach front area at the western side of the island. Also really cool. Today we couldn’t take a closer look at this place because nobody was available to show us.

Stop 4: back home again – ready to cook the tuna, after a shower, and with a good glas of  New Zealand wine… Cheers!

 

Day 4 & Day 6 (April 4 & 6) – Some kind of business days

We met Carey who owns a Cook Islands real estate agency. As we had a large list of open question on how business is structured on the Cooks it took him & us nearly 2 hours to get our missing anwers – and this was just the beginning. The Learning of this „meeting“: life is different on the Cooks. But this is what we are looking for…
Smile of the day: Later that day Pietro passed his Cook Islands driving license test successfully 🙂
Two days later, we went around Raro with Carey, to visit some places for sale and get some more details about banking, insurances etc. and also where we can buy specific products. And – out of the blue – we also received another offering to buy a location – a trendy cafe/ bar/ restaurant in a cosy shopping area of Avarua, and in front the sea. We need to think seriously about this opportunity…

 

Day 5 (April 5) –  Nothing special, but…

Nothing special happened today. The weather was cloudy, so we took some time for organizational stuff.

Reflecting the last days there is one thing I have to mention, because it was a surprise for me. Thinking back to 2010, when I (Eltje) crossed the South Pacific island area, on the Cooks (but also on the other small island states) there was no great choice of „international“ products to buy. But nowadays, in a Cook Island supermarket (an we have now visited 3 of them) we found some of our absolute favorites…. like Lavazza coffee beans, Greek Kalamata olives, Teriyaki sauce, my favorite shampoo, Pietro favorite cookies, Nutella, a choice of olive oils, pretzels, New Zealand beef for a very reasonable price, broccoli, Philadelphia cheese and similar 🙂

Still missing: bread (we mean something that deserves to be called bread)

Summary: Times are changing, also on remote south sea islands.

 

With this we send you tropical regards and are back again the next days,

Eltje & Pietro

First impressions

View

Hi all, we are back with the impressions of our first days on the island. Enjoy the pictures & movie…

 

Day 1  (April 1) –  Rarotonga Muri – Get ourselves up and running

Our first place to stay is a holiday apartment, in Muri, a village in the south east of Raro.

After dealing successfully with the jetlag of our 36h-trip in the morning (believe it or not: mainly with Italian coffee and French croissant 🙂 in the cafe around the corner), we organized ourselves. Rented a scooter, drove to town to the supermarket, found Internet access voucher and local SIM-card (communication with home is a challenge because no roaming service with European providers is available), and finally made our way back to our apartment.

In the afternoon we went on a stroll down to the beach 🙂 – click here to have a look at our movie on Youtube:

After a good meal (with the biggest mango we ever ate) we went to bed again (jetleg, part 2…).

Mango

 

Day 2 (April 2) – First impressions  

For the first 10 days of our journey we choose to stay in the holiday apartment complex we are interested to buy. After all our theoretical research about this location we were sooo curious to see it in reality. And the first impression was really good. A great place on a hillside of Muri village, in a tropical garden, directly in front of a topical rainforrest. Beautiful colored flowers, coconut palms, papaya, banana and avocado trees beside the house and a cool sea view.

Muri-3 Muri-4

And very important for Peanie: out of reach for Tsunamis!

 

We will be back soon again,

Sunny regards from Raro,

Eltje & Pietro (Peanie & Sweetie)

On the plane

Island landing

With this we open our “Diary” blog. We keep you updated on a daily basis, on what we do and what we experience on our journey….

And the journey starts with the flight from Munich to the Cook Islands:

 

Day -1  (March 30) Airport Munich – Emirates Check-In Counter

….and the following conversation:

Peanie: Mmh – is it possible to check in our luggage from Munich directly to Rarotonga?

Check-in assistent (Marie): Where is Rarotonga?

Peanie: Main island of the Cook Islands, about 3 flight hours east of New Zealand.

Marie: Does it belong to NZ? If not, then it is an international connection flight and we can check it through.

Peanie: It is an independant country.

Marie: Really, I have no clue where and what it is. I haven’t heard about it so far. I’ll ask my colleage, he travels a lot and knows so many countries. PHILIPP…

Peanie: Mmmhh – if it is too complicated we can pick up the luggage in Auckland and check it in again.

Marie: No no, I think it works, we just need to find out how.

Philipp arrives.

Marie: Philipp, do you know the Cook Islands?

Philipp: Yes…

Philipp takes over, supported by Marie, but also needs support from another colleague – Jan.

Philipp: JAN, I need luggage transfer fom NZ to Rarotonga. Rarotonga – you do not know where it is? Pretty close to Bora Bora… You know, where I spent my honeymoon.

Philipp to Peanie: How long do you travel?

Peanie: 10 weeks, but also to Vanuatu and Fiji.

Philipp: Vanu… what? Does this belong to the Cook Islands?

Peanie: No, this is another Island state east of Australia…

….meanwhile 3 Emirates employees worked on our check in – and about 30 minutes later they managed it succesfully with transaction „TNZ“ (transit in NZ), which was never used before by them…

During this complete process we chatted about the journey in a very chilled atmosphere (luckily no qeue at the counter…) and finally Marie said: by the way, I can offer you an upgrade…  🙂

 

Day 0  (March 31) – Virgin Airlines flight from Auckland to Rarotonga

We were sitting in the aeroplane, with nearly one hour delay.

Announcement from the captain: Dear guests, here is the captain speaking. I apologize for the delay, but we are still waiting for some luggage from Europe.

Pietro to Peanie: Could be our luggage, on its complicated journey…

Remark: finally (and luckily!) at Rarotonga Airport our complete luggage arrived 🙂

 

Sunny island greetings,

Eltje & Pietro