Kia Orana, part 2!

Rarotonga Travel Blog

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We've done loads since our last entry, in which we forgot to mention that James saw a humpback whale out of the plane window on our descent into Rarotonga (thats why window seats are awesome! although at one point i thought we were going to land in the sea!), so lets begin....

We visited Muri Beach and it was absolute paradise (I trod on a plaice!!)! The sand is even finer and the lagoon was full of marine life, loads of tropical fish and a huge purple starfish :) We swam out to one of many small uninhabited islands, or islets as they are called here (or rotten fish island as i called it) where lots of weddings take place and one was just beginning as we swam back to the shore!

The next day we had a bbq at the hostel, the owners prepared lots of local dishes for us including Ika Mata which is raw fish in coconut cream! And Taro, a native potato with a natural source of steroid! (Finally I'm going to be pumped! Although I'm worried for Han as I've seen what the local ladies look like ;) )  

After the lovely bbq we headed into town for an Island Night where we got to see traditional dancing, and music.

Our hostel
  Once the show was over the bar stayed open and there was a dj on - some of our friends proved themselves to be quite good dancers!!!!! (Especially York, our German techno friend!) I was given a Lei made from real flowers (which she had wanted from day one!) :D

We went to watch the blessing of the Canoes on the following day (surprisingly the canoes were blessed by Neptune himself!!! pics on the way!) in which leafy garlands draped over them were cut to represent their freedom to leave the motherland and enter the water.  Each team performed their native dance/chant, eg. New Zealand, the Haka.  So for the last week there have been many races happening which is supposedly the biggest event of the year in the Cooks. (Leading to the biggest booze up of the year!)  

We went on this night to mark the beginning and the following Friday to mark the end.

Lucky guy ;)
  Friday night is party night here! (Party couple 101!) So the last 2 saturdays have been mega lazy days! The clubs are fun, with sandy floors and no ceiling, so you can see the stars as you boogie!!!

We have been to a traditional Cook Islands Church ceremony (which includes dinner!!!) which was similar to home, but with AWESOME singing! And of course the previously mentioned lunch afterwards :D (there was cake, cheese and crackers, fruit, and more cake!)

James has had a free scuba dive trial as some of the guys that work at the dive centre down the road are staying at our hostel. (Turns out coral is awesome!)

We have been to a bar on the beach called the shipwreck hut where all drinks are served in a jam jar!

Probably the most adventurous thing we've done is the cross island walk (think start sequence to raiders of the lost ark).

  A group of us from the hostel got up, prepared a packed lunch, in our case corned beef sandwiches and paw paw (they LOVE corned beef here, but its a weird texture so think it might be corned dog! Plus we've noticed some local dogs have gone missing!), and jumped on the bus into town.  We started the climb up steps formed by tree roots (its like a stepmaster so i'm getting my workout), which was hard work! And eventually reached Te Rua Manga, better known as 'the needle'.  You can't get all the way to the top, but with the help of chains and ropes and the occasional foothole you can make your way past a sheer drop to the ledge where you can get some wicked views.  (Literally indiana jones! You'll see in the pics.)  The lonely planet book describes this part as 'a long and probably fatal drop'!! But we did it anyway ;)  So we continued on the walk across the island, with the rest of the way pretty much downhill and stopped for a quick dip in the pool of a waterfall (where I got bitten to shreds by mosquitoes!:( ).
Shipwrecked Islands!
  For some reason the mossies really love james! (I must look like a plate of steak and chips with onion rings.) We finished the walk 4 and a half hours after we begun :)

Anyway, speaking of steak, we headed to the Punanga Nui Cultural market the following evening, where we ate a bargain bbq plate consisting of steak, chops, sausage, taro, local coleslaw, potato salad and lettuce (one of the most awesome things i've ever eaten!).  We got to see more traditional dancing and fire dancing too (plus 2 maoris that husked coconuts with their TEETH!). 

While on the subject of food, they have loads of different cadburys chocolate here! We tried a blackforest bar the other day which was the best choc ever! Cherry flavoured jelly pieces and biscuit :) mmmmmmmmm!

So, we are now off to cycle the island.

World's smallest post office!
  Hoping the tropical rain holds off!! The past couple of days have been a bit cloudy and wet (but its still boiling)!!

Missing you all loads, will update you soon.  Hope you're all well, loads of love xxxx

MichelleTaylor says:
Wow sounds amazing and too jealous to even bother trying to explain!!!! You guys are going to come back a few pounds heavier i'd say! When you guys gonna be in Thailand? you doing beach stuff there? Loves ya xxxxxxxxxxx
Posted on: Dec 05, 2009
coope00 says:
well, back here we have wet weather, cold nights, work......... and left for dead 2 with assassins creed 2 on the way HA! i think we win

im far too jealous

sounds like you having an absolutly awesome time! keep it up!

love and miss you both
Posted on: Dec 03, 2009
dadpaul says:
hi guys nice 2 hear from u at last,thought you'd fell down a hole or something!you seem 2 be doing loads of stuff and avin a great time but be carefull han-that island has got it all 4 jim,sun,sea,sand,scubadiving and STEAK! He might not want 2 come back! Take care,loads of love dad and everyone 'ere xx
Posted on: Dec 03, 2009
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Our hostel
Our hostel
Lucky guy ;)
Lucky guy ;)
Shipwrecked Islands!
Shipwrecked Islands!
Worlds smallest post office!
World's smallest post office!
photo by: glennisnz