2018 Highlights Week #20: The McEwen Family Goes To Rarotonga

So here we are gathered at Sydney airport ready to head to the Cook Islands. This year mum and dad both turn 70 and it is their 50th wedding anniversary so our collective present/celebration was to spend a week together on Rarotonga.

We stayed together in separate villas at Manea Villas at Muri Lagoon. This is the view from Lucy et al’s beachside villa. It was a bit rainy when we woke on the morning of our first day after arriving in the middle of the night.

Weather did not daunt us – not when there was kayaking, swimming and exploring to be done.

There were also many terrible photos to be taken, especially of this pair.

See what I mean?

Scarlett takes much more glamorous photos though.

And there are lots of selfies.

We went to the markets and spent more time at the beach.

And more time in kayaks. Being out in the mild drizzle was fun because one wpuld generally have the lagoon to oneself.

You have to love a plan tree and a stormy sky.

We got all dressed up one night for a fancy dinner. It didn’t all go totally smoothly due to the restaurant not being quite as organised as we had hoped, and we got a little wet from the gale driven rain through the plastic window covers, but it was all an adventure.

Then it got lovely and sunny.

More lagoon adventures.

More bad photos of this one

There was time for reading under the palms.

And ice creams

Gratuitous palm trees.

We found a nice cafe for breakfast.

It, like most of the island, had resident chooks.

Guess what? More kayak time.

The sunshine also made it perfect for stand up paddle board adventures.

We also went snorkelling and drank cocktails afterwards.

We watched the sun go down…

And Zacky and I got up early one morning to watch the sun rise from kayaks.

The grown ups tried the local craft beer.

And almost everyone tried their hand at mini golf.

There were more ice creams.

And we met some local pigs.

This was the day that people decided to walk across the island. It is 5.6 km, but about 2 km is almost completely vertical. I hiked in a kilometre or so, looked at the vertical climb and then volunteered to drive around to the other side of the island to pick them up.

The waterfall at the other end was nice.

We had more nice breakfast.

And more beach time. There were a lot of dogs too.

We checked out the port.

Saw the mountain and some clouds.

And had a final dinner after a beautiful sunset.

And then it was time to fly home.

That took quite a while as we ended up having 8 hours or so at Auckland Airport, starting at about 4am body clock time.

It wasn’t an ideal end, but it didn’t spoil a lovely holiday. You never quite know how a holiday with the whole family is going to go, but it was all good. We got to do the things we wanted to do and had a nice balance if doing our thing, and doing everyone’s thing. I met my kayaking/snorkelling/reading KPIs. And Rarotonga lived up to expectations. Hurrah for holidays.

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