Monday, August 30, 2010
Sea Creatures and Cultural Trade Fair, Rarotonga.
Sea creatures and more Cultural Trade Fair, at Rarotonga. Dancers from Pukapuka.
Another perfect day dawns, we were up and out to watch the Activities personal feed the fish in the lagoon before breakfast. For the last 2 years this area has been a Reserve, all the fish are protected and are fed regularly to keep them around so all of us holiday makers can enjoy snorkeling among them. Everyone that came to watch was given chunks of old stale bread so we could all have fun and make the shoals of fish chase after the thrown bread. The sea just boils with the movement of so many fish, lots of small ones but heaps of really good size for eating fish and such pretty ones.
After fish feeding it was a leisurely breakfast time out on the beachfront on tables with big umbrellas, in the fresh air and sunshine. How lovely.
As we have heard The Cultural Trade Fair is on again today, we hurried to catch the bus earlier so we could watch more of the dancing and enjoy the drumming and atmosphere of the market on the side of main street. There was just as bigger crowd as yesterday and the food and handicraft stalls were all setting up their wares.
Todays’ dancing was mainly from the small remote island of Pukapuka one of the most distant islands from the Northern Group. Because of the remoteness it has apparently developed a distinct style of drumming and dancing. We just know that the show was very enjoyable, the costumes colourfully bright yellow the dancing graceful and the drum band very musical and stirring. I liked watching some of the older ladies who were encouraging the young dancers and the drummers, on to greater heights, and singing with them. They were a show in themselves.
We decided to try the Coconut Curry today for lunch after watching the island chef preparing the food, absolutely yummy it was too, on rice with some chicken in the curry too.
We also bought a large pack of the Island cooked in-the-ground umu food of half a chicken and a chunk of beef with taro, cassava and our favourite taro leaves cooked in coconut milk all on a bed of rice, this we plan to take home and have for our dinner tonight, it only cost $10 and will easily feed us both deliciously.
Watched some local youths jumping into the harbour, swimming and clowning around in front of Trader Jacks restaurant and couldn't resist taking a picture of their fun and games.
We then wandered over to the Cook Island Police Dept, where Erle sat for his Cook Island drivers license, just a formality, filling in forms and paying $20 but very important, a nice little earner for the Islands as all visitors must have one if they wish to drive a scooter or a car. While Erle sat for the license I had a nice friendly chat with the Sargent who had not a lot to do at the time. He said we must make sure we take adequate care of our belongings both at the resort and in the car, not to leave the rooms or the car unlocked or anything visible on the seats etc, as there is quite a lot of petty theft against the holiday makers, the Police were working hard to get the problem under control. It was really nice to have a relaxed informal talk with lots of laughing and joking with the Police sergeant.
When Erle has the license we caught the bus and headed back to Edgewater resort.
We will do something about getting wheels tomorrow.
We were surprised when we got back to the resort to see about 30 people out on the reef across the lagoon in front of the resort. They had all waded out through the shallow waters, clambering over the coral covered rocks, not an easy simple wade! We had no idea what they were all doing way out there and so kept on walking back to our room to change into swimming gear. We had a nice swim and the crowd started to walk back though the lagoon all happy and pleased with themselves, they couldn’t wait to tell us all that they had been out watching Whales! In fact it was two mother Whales with little calves swimming alongside. When we knew what to look for we also could see the Magnificent creatures gracefully arching their backs flicking their tails high in the air as they dived down behind the reef, then came back up, noses pointing out of the water and they ‘blew’ a geyser of spray high in the air. What excitement, this is not something anyone of us had expected at all. The whales usually stayed at the top if the island when they called into the island, but here they were putting on a performance just for us. And, what is more they continued to do so every day while we were staying there, right out in front of the Resort. So lucky. Sorry there are no photos of them, my camera is not powerful enough or quick enough to capture them out there, even though it is not very far out in the ocean.