Rarotonga Island. Cook Island. Polynesia. South Pacific Ocean. Meal in the luxurious Little Polynesian Resort in Rarotonga. A typical day at Little Polynesian begins with a "Tropical Island Breakfast" delivered to your room every morning. This delightful start to the day consists of local fruit (in season), yogurt, honey, toast, cereal tea or coffee. At midday, lunch brings a wonderful variety of salads and bistro style options. When evening beckons, our bistro offers an eclectic menu with an exciting mix of Island and Mediterranean cuisine including freshly caught seafood, delicious lamb and beef as well as tasty vegetarian options. Our dessert menu is equally tempting, with its tropical flavored delights. The complete range of gourmet coffee drinks is also available.      A Taste Of Paradise A recipe for traditional Ika Mata, courtesy of Royale Takitumu, Rarotonga.  Ingredients: 2 to 3     pieces of fresh filleted fish – yellow fin tuna or wahoo works well 2     ripe tomatoes Half     a green pepper Half     a red pepper Half     a yellow pepper 1     cucumber, medium size Handful     fresh coriander 1 cup    fresh lemon juice Half     an onion 3 cloves     garlic 1 cup     coconut cream   Method: • Cut the fish fillet into small cubes (2 cm x 2cm). • Dice vegetables in to smaller cubes. • Put the fish cubes in a strainer and let cold water run over them for two to three minutes. • Put the fish in a glass bowl and add half a cup of water with two teaspoons of salt. • Let the fish sit in the salted water for five minutes and then drain the salted water. Do not add extra salt. • Cover the fish with fresh lemon juice. • Let the fish marinate in the lemon juice for 30 minutes or more. Place in fridge until ready to add the coconut cream and vegetables. • Pour the lemon juice out and add the diced vegetables to the marinated fish. • Add fresh coconut cream and stir until the fish is evenly covered. • Season with white pepper and fresh coriander.  Cook Islands 101 • Getting There: Air New Zealand operates a weekly non-stop direct flight to Rarotonga from Los Angeles. The nine-and-a-half hour flight departs on Sunday evening and arrives on Monday morning. The return flight departs Rarotonga on Saturday evening just before midnight and arrives back into LA early Sunday afternoon. Alternately, you can combine a Cook Island vacation with a New Zealand or Australia itinerary. • Time: There is just a three-hour time difference with the west coast of Canada. • Currency: The Cook Islands’ unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by Cook Islands notes and coins minted for local use. These unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but they are keenly sought by collectors worldwide. Currency is easy to obtain via your local bank or through ATM in the Cook Islands. • Business Hours: Most stores close by noon on Saturdays and are closed all day Sunday.  • Clothing: Although the dress code is informal, brief attire is not encouraged when visiting the town or villages. Nude or topless sunbathing will cause offence. A light sweater is advised for the cooler evenings. • Language: Cook Islands’ Maori is the local language, but everyone also speaks English. Here are a few local words to try while you’re in the Cooks: Kia Orana (hello), Aera ra (goodbye), Meitaki (thank you), ae (yes), kare (no), tane (man), vaine (woman), manea (pretty/handsome), mataroa (happy), kai (food), teia ra (today), apopo (tomorrow), ra (sun), marama (moon). • Local Air Transport: Air Rarotonga operates regular services to the southern group of islands, including Aitutaki. One-day lagoon cruise excursions to Aitutaki are also available. Services to the northern group islands are infrequent, so check with Air Rarotonga well before you plan to go. Charter flights can be arranged with in-flight catering and experienced tour guides. To save some money, Air Rarotonga flights can be booked in conjunction with Air New Zealand tickets. • Driving: It’s not too difficult to drive in the Cook Islands as there is only one road around the main island of Rarotonga, which is roughly 32 kilometres in circumference and has no stop lights! Additionally, the smaller island of Aitutaki is easily navigated. Cars and scooters are available for hire. Vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road and the speed limit is 40 km per hour in the town and villages and 50 km per hour outside of the populated areas. The motor scooter speed limit is 40 km per hour if you’re not wearing a safety helmet. Drivers of all vehicles are required to have a current Cook Islands drivers’ licence, which can be obtained from the police station in Avarua at a cost of NZD $20 on presentation of your own valid licence. If you hire a motor scooter, there is an additional charge of NZD $5 for a compulsory practical test. Your rental vehicle provider will advise you of the regulations.