Avana by night

Friday May 29, 2020 Written by Published in Local
The Milky Way, seen from Avana. DANILO REYES / ISLAND CAPTURE.CK 20052808 The Milky Way, seen from Avana. DANILO REYES / ISLAND CAPTURE.CK 20052808

By day, Danilo Reyes is a fulltime mechanic with Island Car and Bike Hire – but like so many Cook Islanders, his job is only a part of who he is.

At weekends and at night, the 34-year-old has been developing his photography skills – and late on Wednesday nights, he captured this extraordinary image at Avana.

“Photography is my stress reliever,” he said. “I've always wanted to take a picture of the Milky Way here in Rarotonga

He tried a week earlier, but despite waiting for two hours, the clouds did not clear.

“But last night the sky was so clean and the stars were so bright that I was able to take it well, I think.

“We are lucky in Rarotonga. Because besides being Covid-free, there is not much pollution in the sky for us to see the Milky Way.”

Reyes never intended to end up in Raro. He was living in the Philippines, when a friend told him his boss wanted a mechanic “in Cook Island, part of New Zealand”.

Imagine his surprise to end up on a south Pacific tropical island with a climate similar to the Philippines. His friend laughed at his surprise – but Reyes was delighted.

What initially seemed a stepping stone to New Zealand is now home. “I enjoy Rarotonga and I love it. And because it’s Covid-free you can do what you do, while other countries still suffering the Covid.” 

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