During our four year voyage, saling to 30 countries, we didn’t have a set schedule to live by. The main goal was to be out of certain regions during hurricane season.
Because we didn’t plan our arrival dates, we would often enter a country on a holiday, like Easter but usually the holiday was specific to the country, like an Independence Day. There were numerous times we spent days quarantined on our boat as we waited for government officials to get off holiday and clear us into their country.
But there were many occasions when we arrived a few days before a big celebration. One of my favorites was Te Maeve Nui also known as, Constitution Days on Rarotonga Island, Cook Islands.
Walking through the town, we stumbled upon in Polynesian music, hip swaying dancers and a cultural festival with local cuisine, crafts and activities that lasted all week long.
Dance troops and choirs teams, from each island community within the Cook Island Group, dress in dazzling floral costumes to perform and compete during the week. We were able to attend with ticket prices starting around $12 (USD) for the cheap seats.
For a little side adventure around Rarotonga, an island 20 miles in diameter, we rented a motor bike for about $20 (USD) for the day. (Scooters were also available.) We encountered parks, roadside eateries, pristine ocean drives and my favorite, a cool waterfall to swim under.
Upon hearing we could earn our Open Water Scuba Diving certificate for around $360 (USD), we took advantage of it. This certificate costs thousands of dollars in the US. Learing how to dive in this spectacular location in warm water with tropical creatures and brilliantly colored coral added more meaning to our experience here.