I arrived on Atiu on a plane that was small enough that it had the ability to boast that every seat is a window seat. Looking at the size of the plane, I was thinking that I was going to the smallest of the three islands on my tour de Cook Islands but I was wrong. Atiu is actually quite a large island to navigate despite the fact it has no ATM or stable power source. The lack of an ATM gave me a minor heart attack as I arrived on the island with only $30 to my name and a loaded for travel VISA. Thankfully, the artist extraordinaire running the B&B where I was staying was willing to loan me cash I needed to survive/tour and I could square up with her husband upon my arrival back in Raro. PHEW…and so much for VISA being expected everywhere!
After settling the first issue, I was off to see the island with the other couple staying at the B&B with me. During this tour, I was exposed to the jungles, harbour, fishing spots, grottoes, white sandy beaches, and history that make up Atiu. All of it was interesting but what stuck out in my mind was the makatea (aka raised coral). What haunts me about the makatea is it’s uneven and sharp surface that crumbles under every step that makes walking on it impossible and yet I couldn’t help but to keep trying as the fossils that can be seen in the makatea are outstanding.
I could tell right from the start that Atiu was going to be a very different island experience from the other two that I was on. I was thankful that I was staying at a place at felt like a home away from home that was run by 2 ladies that were proud of the island they called home. On their advice (and loaned money) I started my exploration of what Atiu was all about.