raro revisited

/ the reason we traveled to rarotonga /
i have finally gotten around to posting our rarotonga pics on picasa and thought i would give a quick rundown of some of our favourite parts. i already posted about the food and fragrances on the island in a sneak peek, but here's the extended version.

/ inside our bungalow /
our bungalow at the muri beach hideaway was on the opposite end of the island from the rest of the wedding party and attendees, who all opted to stay at the edgewater resort where the wedding was held. we were so happy we did! the owners were friendly, the beach was amazing and the bungalows were excellent.

/ enjoying a wine on the deck /
every morning we enjoyed something from the french bakery next door and every evening we had a glass of wine on the deck. unfortunately, the roosters woke us up every morning, but apparently that is the case anywhere on the island.

/ the happy couple /
the wedding day was beautiful, with the ceremony by the beach and reception nearby.

/ reuben looking tan and handsome /
after having great celebrations at the wedding, we had some time to do some exploring over the next couple days. the beaches were gorgeous and the water was crystal clear with little neon fish darting through the water. most surprising to me were the massive amounts of sea cucumbers! it was hard to miss stepping on them when wading through the water.

/ reuben on his new favourite toy /
the easiest and best way to get around the island was on scooter! reuben got his license in a snap and was my chauffeur for the trip.

/ on the back /
we made it around the island a few times, and i managed to snap a few pictures on our way, unfortunately, i ran out of battery on the 3rd day without even getting any pictures of muri beach where we were staying... camera fail on my part. 

/ one of the many stands of family graves and roads leading up to the hills /
we didn't quite have enough time to embark on a hike up into the craggy hills in the middle of the island, but apparently they are somewhat challenging. it's on the agenda for the next time we visit :)

/ a nice strip of beach /
palm trees, coconut trees, banana trees everywhere.

/ yep, tsunami evacuation route /
every couple of kilometres there was a sign posted evacuation road that led up into the hills in the centre of the island. being a small island, i imagine this is quite a real threat. we drove up one of the evacuation routes until the road turned into a very steep, gravel driveway to a private residence in dense forest. were it a public road we would have explored further and seen a bit of the bush, but we just headed back down to the beach instead.

/ dragonfly in the botanical gardens /
the day after the wedding, we hung out with our friends megan and jarred and went to some botanical gardens not far from where we were staying. we tried to stop at the matutu brewery, but it was closed on the weekends. we had to settle for trying a bottle later on with lunch at the restaurant and it was actually really good.
/ disturbed some creatures on our walk through the gardens /
the gardens were pretty impressive and full of big, tropical flora, many of which were in bloom.

/ enjoying the scenery /
one of the best parts of the trip? aside from extreme relaxation, warm weather and lots of sunshine? i didn't carry anything with me anywhere we went. it was mostly due to the fact that i was only wearing dresses and skirts and had no pockets, but reuben had the scooter keys, key to the bungalow and the money and that was all we needed. of course, this meant that i didn't have my camera on me very often so i missed out snapping pics of all the great food we had! our favourite eating spot was about a five minute walk down the beach from us at a place called sails. while the dishes and drinks there were yum, we actually got the ultimate seafood platter at trader jacks. we actually struggled to finish that one due to all the salted marlin, but we put in a pretty good effort.

/ can't see it here, but there were bees buzzing all around these flowers /
gotta love those bright colours! i managed to find some fragrant frangipani flowers in the gardens as well - yum!

/ picnic anyone? /
and this was about the time the battery ran out in my camera, hopefully i can get some beach pictures off of megan at some point. just down the beach from where we were staying was a shallow lagoon which was a marine sanctuary area. we could see the schools of fish darting around and the heron stalking them from the lookout point here, but reuben and i also kayaked through later in the day to take a closer look.

/ megan overlooking the lagoon marine sanctuary /
all in all, this was a great vacation spot that we would definitely consider visiting again.


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