The Cook Islands has to be one of the wedding capitals of the world. I have read that there is anywhere up to 800 weddings a year in this tiny Pacific nation. Most of the nuptials take place on the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. It was my next-door-neighbours’ wedding that took me there and pretty much every other visitor I met on the island was there to either get married, or celebrate a wedding with friends or family.
I had a week there to explore the place and, of course, top of my exploration list was the surf. Rarotonga does have waves but, and this is a big but, it is very fickle and when the surf is good the breaks are shallow, fast and heavy with the swells moving out of deep water before impacting with the reef. The other thing to consider is that the swell window and predominant trade winds are generally from the same direction. I lucked in and scored a few perfect offshore days and surfed mostly on my own. But don’t go there expecting perfection all the time, take your boards and if you get a window of good waves, get out there. Also take your reef booties and plenty of Betadine. Chances are, you’re going to use both.
Rarotonga is mostly made up of mountainous bushland that is great for hiking but virtually uninhabitable. Most of the residents live along the coastal fringe of the island, where the land slope becomes more gentle, and of course along the beautiful beaches. If you do visit, make sure you hire a car or a scooter, you will want to go exploring.
I slipped into island time and spent the week photographing, hanging out with friends, surfing a bit, exploring the island and generally relaxing and reading books. I will let the photographs speak for themselves. Take a few moments to have a look at this beautiful little island and you never know, you might head there for a wedding some day…
Enjoy your day,
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