Another lovely day in the Paradise that is Rarotonga.
We headed first into Avarua, the main township, as we had decided we would try to buy a small electric frypan, we don’t have one at home so we could use it here and just take it home after our holiday. But we searched the only shops likely to stock such goods to no avail then went round the back streets to check out a big warehouse, but they too only stocked large economy size frypans for extra big families, so we decided to give that idea a miss. Besides we heard while in town that there would be a night market at Punanga Nui for the next three evening to see if folk were interested in evening shopping, so we decided we would head there tonight.
While in town I spotted a group of young people with a stall for Year of Youth, they were making t-shirts or rather the design on them with a lino cut block and a roller of ink, rather like school kids make, so I decided to have a go. Paid my donation and was given the biggest t-shirt they could find and I went to work with the ink roller and made a prize mess of it really but I was pleased except it was too black. My wish for it to be less black was granted as soon as we got back to Edgewater Resort as the activity of the day was making coloured patterns on sarongs, so I got the nice man to spray just a little blue dye onto my black pattern; improving it mightily, I may even wear it sometime now.
.As we drove back we passed a garage sale sign that I couldn’t resist. In we went to a private house selling masses of good stuff and some junk. I bought a lovely butterfly shaped necklace set in gold with dingle dangles, that I wondered a lot about; where it came from. How it got here etc for only $3.00 and another sarong for only $2.00 we plan to use it as a table cloth when we return home. Bargains!
Erle spent his time talking to the man of the house about land on the Island. Apparently it is all tribally owned, he was born on the island and had an island grandmother so was allowed to own his piece of island, he had built many houses upon it for family members.
As usual we gathered up the picnic food and headed off to another lovely beach for a few hours, swimming and wandering alone the sea shore, and eating ofcause.
An enjoyable, lazy way to pass the time away, in the sun.
In the evening we were off to the Big Game Fishing club for a nice glass of cool wine at the end of the day, we didn’t stay long as we had the night market to go to.
But while there, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a girl friend that went out of my life more than 30 years ago. When we recognized each other she took off the lovely Gardenia Lei she had around her neck and placed it over my head and we gave each other a big hug, then set about filling each other in about our lives in the interum, which was very interesting to me because this lady had walked out of her home and left her husband and 2 children. One of the children was very severely handicapped both physically and mentally. She told me that one day she looked at the baby son and thought he too was developing as the older child, and just knew she couldn't go through it all again, so just called her Husband and ordered him home from work and simply walked out; walked out of all our lives, never ever to be heard of again. I now know she drifted wild and free for a time then eventually found herself in a tiny remote coal-mining town on the West Coast of South island, ironically a town I wrote a blog about while we were caravaning earlier in the year.
It was hard to leave but we knew had to make it to the market, so we said goodbye and most likely won't see each other again. I tried 3 times to take her photo with my 100% reliable camera and 3 times it refused to take the photo, so finally she took my photo with Erle under the old Fisherman sign, with the gardenia lei around my neck.
Didn’t buy anything much at the market, except coconut toffee that we really enjoy and our meal for the night. There was a huge crowd so I think these night markets will continue. A lady was selling Oyster stew made from the big fat oysters that are used to grow the black pearls. These Oysters are nothing like the ones that we buy at home from Bluff, ours are smaller and have white flesh, these are smooth shelled and quite large with a much darker fish inside.
At home we love oysters, ususally deep fried in batter, so we chose this for our meal, it came with a big dish of steamed rice, we quickly drove home and shared out this delicious meal with some crispy bread we had leftover from the picnic. It was so delicious we could have eaten more, but halfway through my bowl I bit into something hard, very hard, in fact in actually chipped a small piece off my tooth! It was a small black pearl, wow a free pearl in my meal, it was worth the chip on my tooth, but just what I am going to do with this small pearl I have no idea, but it is going home with me.
A bit of a bonus. You can see the small pearl at top of the necklace photo.