Cook Islands, we are back on the road...

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August 3rd 2019
Published: August 25th 2019
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Here we are...finally back on the road to places I haven't been for a while, so here is a little blogging! No, they don't have direct flights from Durban to yes, we have been on the road and planes for a little while...

First came 2 days in Hong Kong to say hi to few friends, and deal with few business issues. Than came nearly a full week in Bangkok for friends, food and a lot of shopping. Next a little stop in Sydney for more friends, more fun...actually....I will do a little blog about Sydney in the coming days.

Cook Islands are not an independent country recognized as such by the UN. They are part of the Common Wealth of New Zealand. But this is not New Zealand, there is clearly a different immigration....with a huge stamp in as well as another stamp out.

This is not the final destination, neither they highlight of the trip. It is rather a stop on the journey to some serious diving. Well....we did stay a full 36 hours in Rarotonga...and I managed two dives in what is my 66th territory/country in term of diving. Well, it was average, but the water was way warmer than at home!

Finding a good deal in Rarotonga is not easy, so I was happy to secure a self-catering bungalow right on the beach with the local backpacker. It was clean, pretty big...and right on the beach....nice! Would have love to play golf...but my clubs are nicely at home!

We cooked...with ingredients flew in straight from Sydney....and had some great NZ wine!

So now two fun stories! I flew my first round-the-world trip back in 2002....right in the middle of the SARS virus...the first flight was on NZ in business class from Hong Kong to Auckland on a 767. We were 17 passengers. I had a fun chat with the senior at the time, the food was already amazing on NZ in business....but the seats were I grabbed all the pillows and blankets I could...and went to sleep in economy...and back to business for the breakfast. 3 days later, I was going to play golf next to the airport. Two gentlemen showed up, I asked to join...they told me ok, but we are awaiting for another one....guess who came, the same senior pursuer....and I bumped again in him few days later on my flight from Papeete to the States. is a small world...and 17 years later...who guess is running our direct flight from Sydney to's Paul again...and yes, I do have a solid memory!

Next fun story, on our way back to the airport, we decided to take the bus. There is only one main road on Rarotonga....just going around the island. A gentleman and his daughter was driving in the opposite direction...and asked us if we were going to the airport. Answer is yes, so he decided to take us....back to where he was coming from. We would say, only in NZ...he is the husband of the station manager of Air New Zealand....sadly, today, we are not flying with them, but on a prop to the East!

More to come soon...and more diving too!

Additional photos below
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25th August 2019

I'd like to go back. I have not been there since 1990 but assume enormous changes have taken place. It was a sleepy village when I was there.
29th August 2019

Small World!
Beautiful pictures, Rarotonga looks like an ideal place 😊 I love the "small world", Air New Zealand stories 😊

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