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from tropical shores floats my thoughts to you…

a handful of coral sand ruffles in your hands’ warm clasp,
the rolling sound of waves spins air in gentle folds along your cheek,
the soft caress of layered pristine sands press gently beneath your feet,
plummets of fog lazily slipping between jets of deep green,
a spray of blues so vividly and widely colored your language inadequately names them,
a family of crabs retires beneath your weight,
boats bounce splashes in mountains of white,

a handful of coral sand ruffles in your hands’ warm clasp,
the rolling sound of waves spins air in gentle folds along your cheek,
the soft caress of layered pristine sands press gently beneath your feet,
plummets of fog lazily slipping between jets of deep green,
a spray of blues so vividly and widely colored your language inadequately names them,
a family of crabs retires beneath your weight,
boats bounce splashes in mountains of white,
planes and ships cruise between their precious beacons of life holding pearls like space ships in the vast endless void milkiness of space.

So, here i am now in Raratonga, the main island in the archepilo of the Cook islands.
There are big differences between Tahiti and Cook.

The main interesting difference is how a different colonial power spins the culture in such a different way.

To my wallet, Tahiti was a financial jet hole, I manged to spend in 1 week what i had spent in the USA in 3 weeks. My finances are already 1/5 expended, so I need definitely watch the cash flow. Fortunately Cook islands has prices that are more comparable to those in New Zealand [about 3 to 5 times cheaper than in Tahiti!!!].

After I met walter, things definitely began to calm down and my brushes with danger have subsided. We went to Morea and had a great day meeting local coconut pickers [whom we helped in exchange for a ride around the island], local tiki huts and ceremonial weddings.

Each day feels like an entire new adventure and life that begins and ends, a day feels like a week, and a week like an eternity…

All my bruises and such are nearly healed and life is pretty much back to normal. After I posted my last blog i was left with a lingering thought:

“Was that the 4 of the unluckiest days of my life, or 4 of the luckiest?” its honestly hard to tell, because the truth is, in all 4 events I was unlucky something bad happened but also very lucky that in each instance it was not worse. So if there is a lesson to learn it was that even in your hard times there is grace.

At the moment I am very calm and considered, taking things in stride as they occur. I believe that we will stay in Cook for about 4 days, then maybe go to Atitiaki for 2 or 3 days before going off to Fiji.

There is a chance I will then do a return trip to Tonga without walter, but I’m getting a bit saturated from all these tropical beaches! After the zillionth perfect lagoon and beach one can’t help but get used to it as if it was terribly normal. However Tonga has been mentioned as a place that is a bit less on the beaten path, more √§uthentic”, less colonial etc. fiji, cook and tahiti are all highly touristic places that just spew western-ism.

I didn’t go to the Marquesas islands in French Polenesia, for two reasons, firstly because of cost: it would have easily cost me 1 to 2,000 more euros and 1 to 2 weeks time to visit, and secondly because after the 4 days at raeatea, i literally needed these last 4 days to be easy going and relaxing – walter has been a great friend to travel with. A part of me is sad i didn’t go there, for i know it would have been untamed, rustic, relatively untouched and authentic… but i also know it was never the main objective of my travels and there are oh so many doors that are passing me each day that many more will follow…

I’ve just finished reading book 1 of “his dark materials”, an excellent trilogy that reads like a mixture of lord of the rings and harry potter… recommended!

There are many new zealanders and english people in the cook islands, its kinda weird. i’m trying to get my head around whether i like the english/new zealand cultural mixture – but i’m trying to abstain from making any opinions until i actually visit new zealand properly first. [lets just say that so far i am not feeling it], so far cook is a bit too much like england on foreign soil… a bizarre prospect when one considers i’m 12 time zones away from it…

tomorrow life will pick up pace again as I join walter in whale diving and complete my open water dive certification, scuba diving is sooo much fun!

big hugs to all of you,

its tropical rain storm weather today.