Is it day 1? I mean we were on a plane for 9 – 10 hours and I’m not entirely sure how many time zones we crossed. Nonetheless, 9ish hours later, Audrey and I found ourselves on the island for a 17 hour layover in Rarotonga… which turned into 19 hours after a flight delay.
We arrived in the Cook Islands at 5:45 am, which was casually followed by a brief panic attack on my account as I thought that I lost my glasses on the plane and a long wait through custom.
Following those encounters, we realized that we had absolutely made no plans, and had no idea what to do with our 17 hours. Obviously, carrying around our bags was not ideal (as mine is a mere gazillion pounds), so we set about finding a home base. I had read about a hotel across the street from the airport that allows you to lock your bags up, despite not intending to be a guest. Thus, to the Islander Hotel, we went! It
was about 8am by this point, and we had to decide if we were going to pay $150 for a room for 6 hours or find another form of amusement.
$150… for 6 hours…. didn’t really sound appealing.
Soooooo we didn’t…
Well, now what?
Coffee seemed to be the next order of business, and as we were drinking our long blacks (double espressos), Audrey brilliantly said that we should rent bikes and explore the island!
This being the only idea we had, we set about executing the plan.
A rather terrifying car ride, and a girl who doesn’t know her place in line later… we had 2 bikes and 32 km to explore.
The island is beautiful! Not to mention, every SINGLE person we encountered was ridiculously nice. I think that must be a south pacific thing, as this is what I heard about the Kiwis too! We made it halfway around the island to Muri, when we posted up on a beautiful beach for the afternoon! A couple glasses of wine and a wicked sunburn later (Alas, no amount of sunscreen was about to protect my delicate skin from the South Pacific sun), we set once again to the biking.
Btw, at the time, I had no idea how far 32 km actually was.. almost 20 miles. It wasn’t until the sun was setting. and we were still 8 km away from the bike rental place, did this distance actually kick in. Needless to say, it stopped being a casual bike ride and became the fast and the furious, bicycle edition.
In the end, we made it back to the bike rental place, however, that location was still at least 6 km from our hotel…
I suppose we could have gotten a cab… Well, we didn’t…
As we still had about 6 hours until our flight, we set about walking back. On the way, Audrey again with the brilliant ideas, decided that as we passed an outdoor shower, perhaps we could freshen up!
You know, the ones you use at the beach to get the sand off…
Therefore, at perhaps 6pm, we took outdoor showers (which I’m sure was entertaining to all who drove passed us).
Keep in mind that we did not have access to a room, therefore, if we did not want to stink up the whole plane with our day’s adventures, this was basically our only option. Being somewhat clean, but obviously now somewhat soaked, we finished our walk home! The walk enabled us to see a gorgeous sunset at Black Rock!
After what seemed like the longest day of my entire life… We ate dinner and headed to the airport.
Rarotonga’s beauty matches its people’s kindness!
Our 17 hours were truly lovely, though exhausting, but we couldn’t have asked for a better place for a layover!
Next stop Auckland…