Trader Jack sits in his usual spot, at the street end of his eponymous establishment, sipping a vodka, lime and soda. The last day’s light shimmers off waves breaking out on the reef. A few regulars are having last drinks before heading home and a few tourists have arrived to kick off the evening, which could well end on the dance floor upstairs at the nearby Staircase Bar & Restaurant. There’ll be no drinking or dancing after midnight though, midnight sees a strict close, out of respect for the Sabbath.
A full moon sits above Muri Lagoon. Across the sand and gentle lapping, in the Barefoot Bar, Charlie has been busy mixing cocktails. The buffet is all but done and the resort guests sit, mesmerised by the pulsing sensual dance of Island Night. The following morning the dancers will sit in pews, wearing hats and gloves, eagerly awaiting the hymns. On a Cook Islands coin, the Queen sits on the head side while a fertility symbol tantalises the tail. Just part of the Polynesian paradox.
It is a beautiful island with a mountainous, rugged interior with lush rainforest vegetation, fringed by the reef with a lagoon of clear aqua waters. Swimming, snorkelling, diving and fishing are all sensational, there are plenty of quality resorts, large and small and many fine restaurants. While ‘Raro’ is the main island for tourism, it is a short flight to the stunning lagoon island of Aitutaki.
Traditional and modern life contrast seamlessly – religion and sensual Polynesian lifestyle blend harmoniously. It is a fascinating destination that will rewards the explorer as well as the tourist.
Some links for more on the Cook Islands:
- Comprehensive information website – Cook Islands A to Z
- Resort wedding packages – Resort Weddings
- Tropical honeymoon packages – Tropical Honeymoons