descent_into_london

Leaving on a Jet Plane

June 19, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

My time in the beautiful Cook Islands is up, and with it, my time travelling around the world, with just my wits and my backpack. Ahead of me was a 24 hour flight from Rarotonga to London, via Los Angeles. Thankfully, my flight was late in the evening, so I had a full day to…

Matutu Brewery Company Manager James Puati

Matutu Brewery

June 16, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

In Japan, I had sipped Kirin and Sapporo. In Hong Kong, it was Tsingtao. In Vietnam, I’d sampled both the Hanoi and Saigon beers. In Australia I really liked Carlton Draught. The only place I couldn’t find any “indigenous” beer on sale was in the Cook Islands! This was despite having heard quite a lot…

Born to be Mild!

Looping Rarotonga

June 15, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Coffee, Featured

Pretty much every day here is a little surreal. The colours, the light, the scenery and the people are so delightful that it’s sometimes hard to believe I’m actually in a real place, on the same planet as my home, London. I was met by Karsten on my return from Aitutaki, and he and his…

Me with the stars of Rarotonga - 25 second exposure, f3.6 at ISO3200

How to Photograph Stars

June 13, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured, Photography

Some time ago, whilst in Britain’s Lake District,  I saw the most incredible stars in the sky, with clouds of stars clearly visible. At the time, I wasn’t up to speed with my photography, so all I have is a magical memory of that night. I determined to be better prepared for my travels around the…

The Winner! And no – he wasn’t mine…

Curiosities – Cook Islands: Hermit Crabs

June 12, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

There were a lot of hermit crabs in the Cook Islands, especially on Aitutaki. I thought they were very cute and photogenic, as well as a bit grumpy when you pick them up. Hermit crabs differ from other crabs in that they have soft abdomens. They’re as slow as any other crab so they have…

Castaway on Aitutaki

Cook Islands: Aitutaki

June 12, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Cats, Featured

When I was planning this trip back in March, I had a look on Google Maps and found Aitutaki, an island about 45 minutes by plane north of Rarotonga. The thing that immediately arrested my attention was the incredible turquoise of its lagoon, as seen from space. I knew that I should definitely look into…

Me and Karsten off Rarotonga

Diving Rarotonga

June 11, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Cats, Featured

I’ve dived a fair few places in the world, and on this trip, I’ve dived Koh Tao, in Thailand, and the Great Barrier Reef. I think I’d have to rank Rarotonga as up there with the best places I’ve dived in the world, and a far, far better experience than what I discovered in Thailand…

Jose and me getting down to some seriously good grub

Island Time at The Mooring Fish Cafe

June 10, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

There’s a lot of talk on Rarotonga about “Island Time”. At first glance, the idea is about an easygoing attitude to punctuality. I suspect it’s a conceit aimed at tourists escaping the rat race for that ephemeral week or fortnight. Mostly things run “on time” here. I discovered that “Island Time” is really something quite different,…

Last call for Mr. Chicken

Curiosities – Cook Islands: Chickens

June 9, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: To get to the beach! Rarotonga is the spiritual home of Free Range Chicken. Chickens roam freely around the island in vast numbers (my google-fu isn’t strong enough to get any estimated numbers). It’s quite interesting, whilst lazing in a hammock, to watch them scratch and…

The furthest I've been away from home in my entire life (10,000 miles in old currency)

Cook Islands: Arriving in Rarotonga

June 9, 2012 // Around the World 2012, Featured

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about coming to the Cook Islands. I had heard that it was full of honeymooning couples, and assumed that they would be so engrossed in each others company that I’d be a little lonely. I’d enjoyed the camaraderie of hanging out with other travellers…

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