Rarotonga, Cook Is

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Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, part of New Zealand, and 'Paradise on Earth'. Our C-124 Globemaster stopped here on the way back to Malden Island after a six day R & R in Honolulu, Hawaii. We stayed four days because one of our plane's four engines just happen to have a mechanical problem on the way in to the island. It was the most beautiful island or place I had ever been and was in no hurry to leave. I borrowed an Englishman's camera and bicycle and captured these pictures on a trip around the island.

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An Island Paradise

We found the perfect place on Earth to spend four long days of May in 1962.

Island Airstrip

The crude dirt airstrip also doubles as the island's golf course. Very pleasant views.

My Favorite C-124

Flew here safely, but on the way we had to feather an engine. No grief here! We were forced to wait here 4 days... Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Cocoanut palms

These beautiful trees were accented by even more picturesque backdrop of dark mountains and a crisp blue sky full of puffy white clouds.

Cocoanut Trees

Everywher you looked, the scenery was just amazing. Do we have to leave?

Take My Picture

On the hotel lawn, I had someone take my picture to prove I was really here.... really here.... really here....

The White Coral Beach

This was real tough duty. So much beach and so little time.

Dock of the Bay

This is where the boats tied up for the export of oranges.

Islander's Grass Shack

One of the many grass shacks where the natives live in one of the small villages scattered around the friendly island.

Small Village

A small village nestled in the cocoanut trees.

Outrigger canoe

A great way to navigate these waters.

Young Islander

A few horses also provided another means of transportation for the Rarotonga natives.

Jagged Peaks

These forboding peaks accent the skyline on these old volcanic islands

Crystal Clear Lagoon

It was really amazing how clear these waters were.

Picturesque Mountain

Typical scene of beautiful orange groves on slopes of the Rarotonga Mountains.

Road Around Island

Gravel road follows the coast around the island. Unfortunately the island now has an International Airport which allows thousands of tourists to fly in and stay at high rise hotels which now dominate the landscape.

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