Our last week is back on Rarotonga and we are trying to accomplish the impossible – see and do everything there is to see and do, but stay lazy. We keep telling ourselves we are on island time.
Biking and Driving
Garry rented another motor bike but I have opted not to ride it. The first plan was to rent a small car too, but the only one available the first day back was an old beater Toyota convertible of some type. Not much worked on it and everything rattled. The insides of the doors were partly gone and the seat fabric was pretty much gone. It was dented and parts missing and totally embarrassing to be seen in! Needless to say Gar loved it. We now have a newer type of Toyota and it is much safer to be in. Gar is getting good with all the driving except for using turn signals. The signal indicator is on the right side and we are used to it being on the left so every time he thinks he is using the turn indicator he turns on the windshield wipers. He takes off most days for a couple hours by himself on the bike, visiting all the local construction businesses and stores. Then we also go out in the car and do more shopping or touristy type stops. One day while he was out on the bike at grabbed a kayak and snorkel gear and paddled to an island and did some snorkeling and swimming. Yesterday I drove the car for the first time. It’s pretty easy to remember to stay left until you get to a roundabout. Fortunately there are only a couple of them.
Tuesday night we went to an Island Night show. Many of the resorts have them once a week but we went to one that is strictly a dinner and show at a place walking distance from our place. The food was a good local buffet followed by and hour show of dancing and music that told the story of life in the Cook Islands before Europeans arrived. We were seated at a table of 8 all from New Zealand. One couple is staying at our resort and we have seen them and talked to them several times since Tuesday night.
Today we went golfing and it was quite the adventure. There is a little 9 hole course by the airport and you play between guy wires and posts for the one local radio station. If you hit those you don’t have to count the stroke. Of course with my luck I hit trees instead. I hadn’t golfed in about 4 years and Gar’s foot started bothering him if he is on it too long after being on too long so we opted for 9 holes instead of the twice around for 18 that you get there. It was super windy so one way you drive great and the other way it takes forever. The course zig zags across itself but we were only 2 of 4 people golfing so we didn’t have to duck too often. Thank goodness the staff working on the greens could point us to the next hole. The course is open to members only on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. We treated ourselves to an early lunch of pizza and beer, then came back to our place to relax and freshen up for the evening.
I think I mentioned that the Cook Islands are a hot spot for weddings for New Zealanders. It is only a 3 ½ flight for them and it is beautiful. All the resorts advertise wedding packages. We have seen several wedding dress bags arrive with luggage during our trip. Yesterday we saw our first wedding here and there is another one tonight. Yesterday was pretty cool. They took a little boat over to the motu that I kayaked to the other day. Using my telescope lens on the camera I could see the wedding pictures being taken. They came back to a small reception here, then under a little tented area just below our room there was a romantic dinner set up for the wedding couple. It really was pretty nice.
Food and Drinks
Most of the menus from place to place are very similar. There is always the fresh fish of the day, grilled or fish and chips, and that has usually been wahoo. It is a nice firm white fish and makes great fish and chips. There is always some pasta dish and some lamb dish. Last night Garry had lamb rump which was braised and slow cooked and it looked like and tasted like yummy pot roast. I had grilled wahoo with a local spinach dish and another dish that is similar to sweet potatoes. After dinner we walked to a local park where we heard music. Turns out every Thursday night they have stalls of food and things to buy and lots of music. Local families and tourists mingled and had a great time. Drinks are very pricey if you want anything other than a basic mixed drink. Beers and mixed drinks are usually about $7 but anything they consider fancy (margarita, mohito, martini, blended anything, run about $15 to $18. A bottle of water at dinner cost $5.50. Tonight we are going back to our favorite restaurant, the Windjammer since it is Friday night, Date Night.
Tomorrow (Saturday) night we head back to Los Angeles, then Seattle. We arranged to stay in our room until late since our flight is at midnight. It cost a bit but we can have the day, then shower and be fresh when we start the 10 hour flight home. Otherwise we would have to be out by 10:00 a.m. and figure out what to do til we go to the airport at 10:30 p.m. This is probably my last post until home. See you all soon.