We arrived to Cook Islands by plane from Tahiti and had a connecting flight to an lagoon further out. The airport of Rarotonga was itsy-bitsy tiny, but the domestic flight was equal tiny so we left earlier since all the passengers was already there.

I love small nervous planes…

No shit, the place is for real!

After 50 min of flying the sapphire-blue lagoon appeared out of the Pacific blue. As being the experienced travellers we are, we had of course not booked any hotel or even read up on the area. So when the “airport” (a shack) emptied out within minutes of touching ground we kind of had a transport problem, since there wasn’t any taxi or even cars. A friendly airport worker made a few phone calls for us before locking up the place and left before the wind picked up. So in rain and light wind we got pick up and drove to our motel… yes, a motel on atoll island that doesn’t see that many cars. At the airport we had heard about this cyclone that might cruise by during the night. Nothing much was expected of it, just a bit of wind and rain. Boy, were we in for a real surprise.

I woke up during the night, thinking that we probably should bring in our laundry that was hanging on the balcony. I look out of the window and saw that the rain-saturated air was filled with flying pieces of corrugated iron and green coconuts. Hmmm, maybe the storm was stronger than first participated. We rescued our clothes and fell asleep again. The first thing that caught my eye in the morning was this giant palm next to our house that was snapped in two. Then my eyes adjusted to the chaotic scenery and I saw that the whole place was covered in coconuts, torn off palm leaves, and vital parts of houses like roofing, pipes, and beams.

As always click the small picture to see bigger

We ventured outside and was met by an even more devastated sight than in our garden. Whole houses was totally demolished, power cables were lying across the road and fruit trees stood naked, stripped from leaves as well fruit which all lay on the ground. We had no clue what to say to these people, who some had their house and car smashed up, but they beat us by asking us if we were OK. Sure…eh, and you? An old lady who’s house was missing the roof, was eating one of the many fallen mangoes in the front garden, while we passed her. She smiled at us, asking assuring if we were OK, and saying “what to do?”.

Biker once, biker for ever

We drove around the little atoll island, zigzagging between the fallen power cables which by now was marked with palm leaves by the courtesy of the islanders. Everybody we talked to said it was the worse cyclone ever. 75% of all the house on the island were damaged and there was no water or electricity… and they the strange thing, they are took it so god damn nicely.

Never park your car under a coconut palm when a cyclone is coming!

At least the sunset was pretty the day after