Monday, January 28
We made it to the Cook Islands! We met up with Rob and Mani in the LA airport about an hour before boarding our flight. 10 hours later (with only about 2 or 3 hours sleep for me) we arrived in Rarotonga at 7:30 am their time. I had a fellow Canadian sit beside me, a retired English teacher, who helped me play Wordstorm for some of the time. We had a couple of hours in the Rarotonga airport to get cash from the ATM, change into shorts, etc. before climbing into the little 12 seater plane which brought us to Aitutaki.
Don had emailed while we were in LA to make sure someone would be picking us up, but there was no one from Aretai Beach Villas there. So another woman, who was picking up people for another resort, managed to pack us and our luggage in the van as well and dropped us off at our place. The manager here, Mama, (she said we should just call her that, as everyone does) did not know we were coming – all email arrangements were made with her daughter-in-law in NZ. So the cottage we were to stay in was still boarded up from the hurricane that threatened a few days ago. So she got a young man who was working for her to take down the plywood over the door and windows, while we stood around and admired the beach. Finally we got settled in and Don and Rob went off to rent scooters for getting around. We did a little beach walk and got wet in the lagoon, but I was so tired that I went to bed at 7:00 without even having supper!!