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May 5, 2009

Aitutaki, of the Cook Islands Archipelago

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General Green

A more perfect turquoise couldn’t have been imagined. A more perfect lagoon the world may not boast. Both are found together at the island of Aitutaki, the second most popular island of the 15 which make up the Cook Islands archipelago. The lagoon is triangular in shape and formed by an atoll which ascends more than 4000 meters from the floor of the Pacific Ocean, enclosing Aitutaki itself and a collection of coral and volcanic islets.

The furthermost edge of the lagoon acts as a natural barrier against the occasionally rough waters of the southern Pacific. A constant stream of frothy white lines its borders, leaving the inner waters of the lagoon both clear and smooth. Rays, giant clams and turtles are everywhere to be seen and rarely shy from human swimmers. The lagoon’s every detail seems from an artist’s palette.

Each motu (islet) has its own distinct characteristic and can be explored by available cruises. One Foot Island, or Tapuaetai, is the most famous of these. It remains the only inhabited motu and is little more than a sliver of pale sand adorned with a stand of palm trees (unless you count the small bar, post office and shop). The serenity and simplicity is unmatched.

A little known fact of the is land of Aitutaki is that Captain Bligh arrived there on the Bounty in 1789, shortly before the mutiny which made him famous. He made a second voyage to the island in 1792 and introduced the pawpaw. It continues to be one of the island’s 2000 inhabitants most important crops.

credited to and flickr users: dalaimages, davo77, robertpaulyoung, philby, backpackerben, timparkinson, dustinpsmith, ken_mott, snowcat, !snednas!

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