Winter this year has been very wet and dismal rather than actually cold, but constant rain and muddiness under foot convinces one that a holiday on a South Pacific tropical island would be a great idea. We have been to Rarotonga about 4 years ago and loved the slow relaxed happy way of life, so we decided to make another longer trip. Our first thought was to stay in the beautiful Muri Beach area, where the small islands are scattered like little jewels just off shore, some can even be walked out to at low tide. But our travel agent couldn’t find a single source of accommodation for us anywhere in Muri Beach as it is very popular. So we opted to return to Edgewater Resort and Spa, where we stayed last time. It was comfortable with a great view and the sunset was spectacular there every evening, the breakfasts also were rather nice and are thrown in for the accommodation cost.
We chose to travel by Air NZ rather than the cheaper Jet Star as we knew we would be hungry after driving to Christchurch to catch the [plane and we would get a nice meal on Air NZ. Was a good idea, we firstly were offered nice packs of chips, the Steward offered the passengers behind us an extra pack, and I cheekily said it was mean that we didn’t get an extra pack, and he said “you only had to ask” and tossed us 4 packs of chips. He then said, “If you don’t ask you don’t get.” And looking directly at me added “And you remember that!”
We arrived just on dark and were showed to our apartment, we quickly dashed out to get a meal at the next door restaurant where we had eaten before on our last visit. The meal turned out to be very nice, but we were very hungry so anything probably would have tasted good. But when I inquired about a drink of water I was told I had to buy a bottle of water, I did so and the bar tender attempted to charge me $7 for it, luckily another tourist at the bar said hey you only charged me $4 for a bottle of water, so the bar tender relented and charged me $4 also. We made a mental note not to eat there again! Walked back to our apartment in the pitch darkness, no street lighting much in this area. We were quick to bed but didn’t sleep very well as we had noted that there was no cooking facilities in the apartment and we had paid extra for rooms with a kitchen, also we spotted that there was no balcony which we had intended to sit out on in the sun reading our books, further more the rooms were so tiny there was only room for one chair and the small double bed, as there are two of us we didn’t think we would be at all comfortable in this mean little room , fighting over who would have the chair and who would stand that day, and resolved to complain heartily in the morning and try for another room, any other room would be better.
In all the years of travel we have done, never once before have we complained about our room or tried to change to a nicer one, but we sure did this time. When morn dawned it showed us that the tiny mean little room had only one window and it was completely blocked but a big tree right hard against the glass, so we would have to have the lights on all day and night!
Right after breakfast we marched up to the reception desk ready to take on any receptionist, the poor lady didn’t stand a chance really against our demands, and very soon agreed to allow us to change to another room, but, without any cooking facilities. Who cares about that, there were almost none in the other room anyway, just a tiny microwave with 5 tiny buttons on one side, how it worked I have no idea, but didn’t plan on finding out either. The receptionist sent us to have a look at another empty room we could change into. It turned out to be the most wonderful beach front ground floor apartment, about 3 times the size of the previous room and this one had a sunny balcony we could watch the sunset from, plenty on space for not only 2 comfortable chairs but also a nice settee as well in the lounge part and a huge double bed, with no hesitation we agreed to accept this new room as long as there was no further charges! There were no extra costs so we joyously hurried to repack our gear and transfer it all to the lovely sunny rooms with a view!
I am sure this will be the first of many stories from Rarotonga.