Monday, August 23, 2010
Rarotonga; a tropical Paradise
First day on a tropical Paradise Island; Rarotonga
Once we were settled in our lovely new apartment we scattered a few things around to make it look like home then raced out to catch the Round the Island bus, this is a great service which has 2 buses that run, one clockwise and one anti clockwise so there is always a bus about every 20 minutes, we didn’t have to wait long before we were on our way in to the main township of Avarua. Just before we left, a lovely Cook Island lady working in the gardens called me over and placed a beautiful smelling white Gardenia flower behind my ear; I left it there all day long. A sweet gesture I appreciated.
As we were driven down the main street the passengers all let out a collective whoop of joy and surprise to see a big Market day being held. There were many tents and hordes of people but the most obvious thing was the powerful drumming beat, this is really stirring and quite musical, kind of. As, this was Wednesday and not a market day, everyone was keen to investigate.
It was in fact a Between Islands Cultural Trade Fair, ( Cook Islands consists of many widely scatter islands) with competitions of island dancing and drumming and also there was lovely ethnic local food from all the outer islands, as well as many interesting items of basketwork, word and shell carvings and black pearls as well as many other hand made trade things.
We decided to find a comfortable seat on the rocks in the shade of a coconut palm and watch all the wonderful dancers and tap our toes to the drumbeat while eating our lunch from a stall selling smoked fish with cassava and taro, followed up with some special stuff called Poke it appears to be coconut bread soaked in coconut cream and sometimes bananas we rather liked this. Apparently the fish is a delicacy from Mangaia, one of the other Islands within the Cook Island group. We spent a while chatting to the interesting locals and happy people from other islands. I am not sure which Islands these dancers represent, but they were very good.
When the dancing finished we went grocery shopping to stock up with lunchtime food for the next few days, before catching the bus back to Edgewater Resort and our lovely apartment. Once home we collapsed on the bed for an hour-long Nana nap. Nothing better; especially when on holiday. Thus refreshed we went to the pool for our first swim both in the pool and in the lagoon.
We haven’t done a lot of snorkelling before but the waters are so full of small and large colourful fish and the water so nice and warm we decided to give it a go. Wow, this snorkelling is so much fun, once you get the hang of it, we stayed in for ages following the fish around the coral outcrops.
We had a quick drink or two while sitting out on the balcony/deck of our apartment watching the sun set, then decided to eat the cold meat and salads we bought for lunches as we just couldn’t be bothered going out anywhere for a meal.
Already we are feeling lazy and relaxed, this is going to be a great holiday.
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