Tuesday 21 March 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Local, National, Travel
Sheron Blewett, 91, first visited the islands in 1993, after seeing it advertised in the newspaper back in Canada.
“I have a close friend, and we always did something together for our birthday, and we read a big splash in the newspaper about the Cook Islands,” Blewett said.
“So, we booked our tickets and off we went. We didn’t quite make it for our birthdays, but we got there all the same.”
Blewett said she was immediately taken in by the environment and the people.
“There’s a real friendliness here, the people are so kind and helpful,” she said.
Blewett, a retired accountant, said she booked the Rarotongan for her first visit, but since 1994 she has stayed with Lagoon Breeze Lodges.
“The staff there has kept me coming back to the place, I’ve stuck through thick and thin, they always treat me so well,” she said.
“They really know how to look after you.”
Blewett said she particularly enjoyed snorkeling in the various lagoons.
“It’s really beautiful, there’s lots of fish and it’s safe to do so,” she said.
Blewett said the laidback atmosphere really appealed to her.
“I really don’t want the Cook Islands to change. It’s the quiet that keeps me coming back. There’s been more accommodation spring up since my first visit, and it’s definitely got busier, but it hasn’t been to a level which annoyed me.”
At 91, Blewett said she had to take it “year by year”—this was her first visit to the country since the Covid-19 pandemic—but hoped to come back soon.
“I’ve learnt quite a bit about the island’s history,” she said.
“The cultural centres have been really helpful and have provided some good information.”
This time around, she is visiting with her nephew.
“I’m now legally blind, but I can come here and visit and soak up everything. I remember what everything looked like,” Blewett said.
“But I am glad I’m here. My advice to anyone wishing to come here for a holiday is not to hesitate.”