As a little vacation from my stay in New Zealand I had earned a trip to the South Seas. As fast and cheap as from Auckland I surely won’t make it to one of these island paradises. I had asked some Kiwis for their opinion on which of these small island states I should go to for a short holiday – from all of them I got the same answer: Rarotonga
Rarotonga belongs to the Cook Islands and is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 4 hours flight time to the east. I had booked my stay on this island in Nelson, in the north of the South Island of New Zealand, just when it became a reality for me that longer walks were no longer possible due to problems with my left leg.
I had chosen late November/early December as my travel time – about two weeks before school holidays start in New Zealand and Australia – because that would have been the main travel season when there were hardly any seats available and I would have had to pay twice as much for the same arrangement.
Due to the early booking, nobody could foresee that during my stay a cyclone would blow over the nearby Tonga Islands – and on Rarotonga the foothills of the island would cause almost continuous bad weather. It had rained more or less heavily 4 days out of my 5 days on the island. Actually I had imagined it differently, but after my journey and hikes through New Zealand were quite exhausting, I could at least sleep and relax these days in my bungalow
The island is very small, 32 kilometres by bicycle and one had circumnavigated it. The peak of the highest and only mountain is at about 650 m above sea level – and with wonderful weather and a beautiful view it is certainly a special experience. Due to the constant rain, however, it was not possible to think of an ascent through the rain forest with loamy underground.
December 5, 2015 will always remain in my memory – because this is the only day in my life that I have not experienced so far. Rarotonga is above the dateline. – I had left for the island at 16:00 on November 30th and arrived on November 29th at about 20:00. A flight into the past – completely without a time machine. The same was true in reverse for the return flight – the day I had won, I unfortunately had to give back. The departure from Rarotonga was on December 4 at about 22:00 and the arrival on Dec 6 at 2:00 in the morning after a 4-hour flight.
The last hours before departure the weather had cleared up – near the departure hall there is a small beach bar – there I was allowed to have a few drinks in the nice company of some island beauties.