Noel and I went to Rarotonga for Jason and Michelle’s wedding. Jason is the son of Noel’s late sister, Viv.

We met Noel’s Dad and sister at Auckland on Friday 11 October and flew with them to the island, arriving on Thursday 10 October! We then met more family and friends who were already there or soon to arrive.

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The wedding was 2 days after we arrived. We visited the Saturday market in the morning before the wedding. The wedding was very good and the weather perfect.

We stayed in some bungalows arranged in a small area which meant it was easy to meet up.

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Sitting around outside the bungalows.

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Noel’s Dad, Max, with all his grandchildren, Bentley, Jason, Tania, Max, Vincent, Winston, Riley.

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We went to the Saturday Market in Avarua before the wedding in the afternoon.

These kittens were being looked after by the local animal shelter.

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The ice creams were made on demand using fresh fruit.

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This chap showed us how to prepare coconuts. He then kindly prepared one to give to Jason and Michelle after their wedding, which is a local custom.

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Wedding pictures…

Noel and his Dad.

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Noel, sisters Rose and Di and honorary sister Pauline.

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Pauline and Max.

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The wedding…

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Noel and niece Tania.

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Max.

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Matt (Tania’s husband), Jason, Michelle, Tania.

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Max with all his grandchildren. Di’s sons and Viv’s children: L-R Bentley, Vincent, Max, Jason, Tania, Riley, Winston.

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Jason & Tania followed by Jason, Michelle and Tania

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Once the group wedding photos had been taken the bride and groom, bridesmaids and ushers were taken around the island to have their pictures taken in scenic places.

In the meantime the rest of us got down to some serious relaxation in the sun. There was a never-ending supply of canapés, champagne and other drinks 🙂

Rose.

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The staff at the wedding reception were very friendly 🙂

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Tania.

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Matt & Tania followed by Rose.

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The reception was held on the sand beside the sea.

Cutting the cake.

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Entertainment.

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Next day. Noel’s Dad just before climbing the coconut tree. At this stage I had to put my camera down to help catch the coconuts, hence no pictures of the magnificent effort.

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The island has numerous Tsunami escape roads into the hills; this is one.

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There is a waterfall to see. Finding the road which leads to it was part of the game by the Tourist Board taking bets to see how many drove past and did u-turns! There were a lot of very hungry mozzies.

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Pauline, Di, Max, Rose, Noel, me.

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There was a great little place by the shore for lunch – just had ice cream this time.

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Local wildlife – hermit crab rather too large for this shell!

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Back for lunch this time.

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Found the Shipwreck Hut at Aro’a Beachside Inn. Voted No.3 in ’50 Best Beach Bars in the World’ by CNNGo.com – woohoo! We had a pleasant afternoon drink there, vowing to be back again before we left.

Me, Pauline, Di, Noel.

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Pauline and Noel.

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Max, Jim (the owner) and Pauline.

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Bit easier to climb this time…

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Di, Noel, Rose.

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That evening we gave Jason & Michelle the coconut, given to us at the Saturday Market for them.

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Then we went out for dinner.

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We did go back to the Shipwreck Hut the following day.

Foreground: Winston, Rose, Max; Background: Bentley, Noel, Vincent, Di.

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L-R: Winston, Rose, Max, Bentley, Noel, me, Di, Vincent.

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Me and Jim, the owner.

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Max with the pianist, Garth Young, who both reminisced about Napier in the past.

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One way to get around the island is to use the buses. One goes clockwise and the other anti-clockwise every half an hour. A lot of tourists hire scooters; after a day’s hire if you want one for longer you have to queue in the police station and pay NZ$20 to get a Cook Islands licence. If you don’t have a bike licence on your home licence you also have to do a small test. Beware – we came across a police road block one day where they were checking for licences!

Di riding home from the Shipwreck Hut.

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A local church had flower garlands around the statue.

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Max, who is soon to turn 90, came snorkelling.

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On the final evening we walked along the beach to a restaurant located on the sand.

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Friendly locals…

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Rose, Di, Noel and me.

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Michelle & Jason.

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L-R: Max, Michelle, Jason, Winston, Vincent, Bentley, Rose, Di, Noel and me.

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Our group closest to the camera.

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Walking back from the restaurant.

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The following day, Thursday, we left and arrived back in Auckland on the Friday.

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