It’s no big secret that my very favorite part of my entire two-week trip to was our side jaunt up to Aitutaki. Sadly, we were only there a grand total of two days, but I saw enough to know that I want to go back. Pronto.
From there, we took a day cruise on board the Titi-Ai-Tonga-Vaka through the lagoon and all the islets, and to say it was stunning simply doesn’t do it justice.
All of the isles pretty much looked the same—in fact, in my pictures I’m not entirely sure which is which!—but one of them, Exile Island, was the filming spot for the 2006 Survivor season. Now, I’ve never seen an episode of that show, but seriously, Survivor producers? Seriously? Like it’s so hard to survive in paradise with ample wild chickens squawking about and fish just off the coast to serve as food sources. If I were those who signed on to the current season in the Brazilian jungle, I’d want my money back.
Next we stopped and had lunch at what will forever be my most favored slice of Utopia: One Foot Island.
And hey, look who I found milling about there. It’s everyone’s favorite nomad, Johnny Jet! We even dressed alike for the occasion. (If you don’t already get his newsletter, sign up for it; he’s awesome!)
There were so many sea cucumbers everywhere (see those black spots in the water?) and starfish, as well. I probably shouldn’t touch the wildlife, but I was never good at keeping my hands to myself.
Here he is up close:
It didn’t stop there. We may or may not have played football with the coconuts…
…and fondled the ubiquitous hermit crabs, as well. Oops!
Perhaps the coolest part of the whole experience is that when you reach One Foot Island, they open a little snackshop that doubles as a post office, where you can even get your passport branded with the “official” One Foot Island stamp. Well, no one told me this in advance, so I left my passport in my room. No bother, I bought a postcard—spoiler alert, SVV!—had it stamped for my beau and sent it by way of—what’s slower than snail?—mail. Hopefully, he will get it in the next 17 to 365 business days. (Note to all going to the Cooks: Keep your passport on you so you don’t miss out on fun opportunities like having U.S. Customs contain you every time you come back into the country for having a giant foot decorating one of the pages of your document of entry.)
The snorkeling everywhere was pretty awesome, and there were even a couple giant clams like in Australia.