Monday, October 18, 2010

Our Final day in Rarotonga

Our final lovely day in Paradise.
After our usual lovely breakfasted up our picnic gear and our swimming gear, packed it all into the convertible and headed out for the day. We had seen a Tropical gardens Café as we drove along the coast road, so today we just stopped and went in for a coffee, we didn’t bother with a muffin even though they looked delicious, but we had not long finished our breakfast, so settled for just the coffee. To get to the little Café we had to walk in through part of the gardens, over a rustic bridge where there were masses of colourful fish swimming in the creek/pond. This was a man made pond, apparently this land was once just a swamp, and the couple worked really hard to drain the land and grow all the great plants.
There was a nice welcome water feature with Hibiscus flowers floating in it.
Near the table we sat at was an old native out-rigger canoe. Which I had to photograph, while I did so the owners offered to take a photo of us both enjoying our coffee.

While driving on the inland road we discovered a Prison, so even in Paradise there is crime. But the prison is quite small and didn't look very high security.

We wandered around for a while then left to find a great picnic place, at Avo harbour, we watched a small fishing boat come in and then set about cleaning and filleting a big Tuna fish, we were surprised how dark red the flesh was, this is not a fish that is caught around the area we live in. The locals trawl for these fish, just outside the reef.
We sat on the grass in the sun and enjoyed our picnic and watched the boats on the lagoon, before driving further along the coast for a swim and snorkel among the little fish and coral.
Drove back to the Resort and quickly had another nice swim, while in the sea I was amazed to spot what looked like a black and white checkerboard like sea snake! It was quite close to the shore too, so I alerted the families with small children to move away from the ‘snake’ and told the activities men about it. They were certain it must be a conger eel, which is a blotchy brown and white colour, oh no that was not what it looked like at all. They tried to tell us that it couldn’t be a snake, but a man came over to me and whispered that there was indeed some sea snakes around Rarotonga but they were not at all aggressive and wouldn’t harm anyone unless in danger themselves, but he said they were very venomous and best left alone.
We decided a quick dip in the pool would be good after that.
For our last night we decided to have a good meal at the resort, we have mostly avoided expensive meals, but as a grand finale it was wonderful, well cooked well served, after we had enjoyed a wonderful cocktail watching the sun go down.
I got my very best heavenly sunset photos at this time. It hardly look real, but, it and all of my photos are completely untouched.
Tomorrow morn early we will be picked up and taken to the airport and we shall leave for home, taking lovely memories with us and the knowledge that we will return.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rarotongan Tropical Storm

There was a big storm while we were in Rarotonga, black clouds were gathering in the evening, making quite a pretty but dark sunset, and a dark moon rose and seemed to fly through the sky. Because the clouds were moving quickly.
In the morning we awoke to the sound of water pouring, We were on the ground floor of a 3 story building so couldn't hear rain on the roof, but we could hear the rain water pouring over the overflowing gutters! We could also hear the thrashing around of the coconut fronds in the strong winds and the heavy pounding and crashing as the big waves smashing into the outer reef then went right over the top of the reef and crashed onto the sandy beach. Soon most of the lovely sand was washed off the beach into the lagoon. The storm lasted most of the day and the sun made no appearances so it was quick dark all day.
A good night to have room service and dine in our room, far too wet and windy to go outside for us. Pity the poor waiters that had to go out in it to deliver our meals.
But by next day it was all clear again, though it took a few days longer for the ocean to calm down again.
We were pleased to hear the locals say the sand would all come back again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wigmore's Waterfall.

Wigmore’s Waterfall Adventure

Today we thought we would go inland to see the Waterfall at Rarotonga.
Turned off the good main road onto a smaller back road going towards the mountains, passed by the old ruins of Sheridan Hotel that was very nearly built when some problem developed and the building work all ceased and has stayed ceased, the tropical jungle growth is gradually taking over the complex. Which is really huge many big buildings just left to rot away.

A big black rooster led us down narrow unsealed lanes.

Passed the tethered piggy growing fat for Christmas maybe.

Passed by many small island farms like this one with their field of taro, passed on by the banana plantation, and pretty soon we were there at the pretty waterfall where children were swimming. It was lovely and cool up here so we unpacked our picnic and enjoyed lunch on the big picnic tables.
Then I spent a pleasant half hour plucking pretty wild flowers and laying them out in a pleasing design, for a photograph, many others also snapped the arrangement. I had just finished flower arranging when a motor cycle policeman drive in to the picnic area, he stopped for a nice chat and warned us to be very careful to lock up both our vehicle and also our resort apartment, he told us there had been a lot of petty criminal activity recently and that we needed to be vigilant and not leave thing in the car in plain sight. We are very careful anyway, but we took note of his words. I asked him if he was going to arrest me for picking the flowers, but he thought not at this time. Just then another motorcycle roared into the carpark, the young chap on the cycle, seeing the Police jumped off his cycle and hastily scaled the rock face by the waterfall and vanished into the jungle, with the Policeman in hot pursuit. I doubt the man will get away because his cycle is still there and the police noted the number plate! We had left before either of them emerged from the jungle.
The waterfall is so lovely.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Night Market.

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.