Timeline Redefine: “Oh my Gosh, I saw a pufferfish.”

The Cook Islands. Described by Lonely Planet as both remarkably remote and accessible. Both modern and traditional.

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands. Even still, walking around the coastline would take less than a day.

A heartbreaking scene as I strode into camp was the magnitude of stray dogs that roam the island. I had a little internal cry before I decided to learn more. A quick conversation with a woman a coffee house, and I learned that the dogs are not so much strays but in fact, wanderers. They are not owned by anyone but more by everyone. You will rarely see a dog in a collar or a leash. Some are fed by the locals, others fend for themselves; sourcing coconuts or stepping into the streams to fish. The more I learned, the easier it was to see that Rarotonga is not filled with stray dogs but in fact, a well functioning canine community. And then I was happy again.

Three days on this mysterious island was not nearly enough. I got distracted on day one by the imminent beauty of Muri Lagoon and all of a sudden, my time was gone. And believe me, when you see it, you’ll understand why. My diving fins had never seen so much action. With a gentle current and crystal clear waters, the scenery of Muri appears to have been pulled straight from the movies. I felt as though I’d been cast in the Cook Islands’ latest travel advert.

As the title might suggest, I caught a glimpse of a pufferfish. A porcupine pufferfish to be exact. Now, this may seem like a menial experience, but speaking as someone who’s only viewing stemmed from nature documentaries and the occasional viewing of Finding Nemo, I was incredibly excited.

  • Befriended a crab in a supermarket. Check.
  • Ate the World’s greatest chicken burger. Check.
  • Experienced the magnificent cafe culture. Check.

In so little time and so little space, I experienced so much. And yet, at the very same time, I did very little. I could have travelled to Aitutaki and snorkelled the wreck of a cargo freighter or even explored the white beaches of the One Foot Island.

For such a small area, there is so much more to do. This is one to go back on the list.

Peace out!


Timeline Redefine: The City of Angels

You wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the City of Los Angeles is home to some of the friendliest people on Earth. As a cynical, weather obsessed Brit with a nervous but polite disposition, you can imagine the culture shock when I arrived was somewhat substantial.

The destination? Venice Beach, California. The objective? Fun.

La La Land (as it’s less commonly known) is colourful. The word ‘colourful’ encompasses everything the city has to offer. From the vibrant street artists to the luxurious coastline. From the star emblazoned path on Hollywood Boulevard to the rocky heights of Runyon. The enjoyment never seems to cease, as long as you know where to look.

The Calypso Tumblers. Catch them on the Boardwalk. Possibly the greatest, most diverse group of dancers my eyes have ever seen. Did you see that series of America’s got Talent? Neither did I but they were on it, so they must be pretty damn good. Dancing not your thing? No matter. There is such a variety of street artists lining the Boardwalk that there is literally something for everyone. The Dubstep Beat Boxer will give you flashbacks to that EDM concert you went to last month. Look around and you might find the skateboarding dog, which for me, seemed to tick all the right boxes.

The skate park is another highlight. Despite not being heavily fond of skateboards or in fact skating of any kind, I found watching the daring endeavours of the local talent almost therapeutic. Not to mention the slight satisfaction that came with watching the showoffs slip up; crashing and some might say burning. Of course, only slight satisfaction.

Los Angeles was full of surprises. Whether it was an impromptu swim with a seal on Venice Beach, or bumping in to Lori Petty at 7am after getting shockingly lost, my three days in LA were as magical as I had hoped. Ever since the day I first watched Jennifer Garner in Alias. There’s a little insight into my mind.

Peace out!