You can tell from the date of my last journal entry that I've been away for awhile. My last entry was over a month ago. It's always good to be back home but I also enjoyed this trip VERY much. I've been here before and thought so much of the "simple lifestyle" that I just couldn't pass it again with stopping once more for a few days.
My first stop was an Island about half way between the United States and Australia. I quickly discovered there's not much "air" to listen to in this part of the world and was VERY surprised that I couldn't hear much, on even a small shortwave receiver that I always take along on long trips. (it's a very wide coverage Yeasu VR-120) I don't take along the HF rig because it's just TOO much trouble and the voltage in this area is 240 volts!
For several days, as we stayed on the Island of Rarotonga (one of 15 in the Cook Islands) this was the ONLY station I was able to hear: Radio Cook Islands
Yes, you can also listen too.... "live radio streaming" directly from the station. I've been listening to it as I type up this brief summary of my first stop of my trip. You'll hear two languages on this station but the vast majority is English. You will also hear a mix of "western" music along with the traditional "Cook Island Music". My preference is the rhythmic (very complex) percussion sounds of the local drummers. You owe it to yourself to listen to drummers!
Rarotonga is a beautiful, quite place, with lovely lagoons and great swimming and snorkeling. The local people call it Paradise and personally (for me) I'd have to agree. You can live off the land here (you've got to like fish and coconuts). The circumference is only 20 miles and it's possible to "bicycle" around it easily in a days time.
There's even "two" buses that travel continuously around the Island. One is "clockwise" and the other is "counter clockwise". Really, there's no need for anything but a bicycle here and a LOT of people travel in this mode.
The first thing I did when we returned to WV was to turn on the rig and listen for a few minutes. I've missed the radio and wondered if my CW would become a little "rusty". My fears were soon relived when I worked KB9VTM in Salem, Illinois. Jim and I have talked before and I mentioned being "away" for awhile. I also mentioned it sure felt good to have the "key" back in my hands.
If you get a chance, listen to the "Cook Islands" while you do a little surfing. Sometimes I wonder about the future of the standard "AM Radio". I think the future (upcoming generation) is going to be on the Internet.
Soon as I get the house back in order, I'll be posting regularly again.