The Cook Islands, named after the British Captain who seems to have been everywhere in the Pacific, are scattered like tiny jewels over a large stretch of sea between Tahiti and Samoa. Rarotonga, the principal island, is 2,500 miles due south of Honolulu - as far south of the equator as Honolulu is north of it - a similarity that provides both places with ideal climates. But that's as far as the similarity goes, for in spite of her recently built international airport, the Cooks remain off the beaten path. Even Avarua, the port, capital, and mecca to these 15 islands, is little concerned with tourists. Here there are no buildings taller than the highest palm, no traffic lights, and the people who speak English with a New Zealand accent are friendly and don't regard visitors as walking money. All amenities, all reasonable comforts are available, and everything seems to work.' You can drink the water, eat the vegetables, be addressed in English, there's no tipping, and happily for Americans the US dollar goes a fairly long way.
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Hunter Publishing, Inc.
April 05, 2011
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