A turn for a worse.....
Rarotonga Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
As Thursdsay arrived, we had already made peace with the fact that we would see no more sunshine on the Island. Instead, the warm beaming rays we had felt from the begginning of the week had been replaced by rain and dark looming clouds that threatened more thunder.
As it turns out, I love thunder. And experiencing such storms from a tiny island in the South Pacific seemed quite special, not disapointing. Hell, we were still in paradise and had absolutely no reason to start feeling sorry for oursleves.
The weather we could handle, and actually gave me a good push up the backside to go out on foot and explore the local bush land without the sweat inducing heat rendering me usless.
Though now, looking back, the turn in the weather was just the beggining of the bad luck to come; That night me and my friend set out for a night in Avarua.
Eventually we ended up in a bar called 'Whatever'. I can imagine that during the day this place would be picture perfect - you have to walk up a set of rickaty wooden stairs into an open area with a very basic set-up of tables and seating.
Somewhere amongst the evening, after already being rather tipsy we were approached by two local guys, a Cook Island maori and a Samoan. Both myself and my buddy are keen travellers - who relish in talking to locals whilst abroad....not seeking out other Brits or Kiwis - and therefore at the time, we were both happy in their company, swapping stories of different cultures, hearing about local honey-pots only a local would know..... and just generally enjoying banter with the opposite sex!
It was harmless fun. Or so we thought.
Cutting a long story short- we missed our bus home, and this was one of the reasons why we allowed them to give us lifts home on thier scooters. Writing this now pains me..... all our sanity must have gone out the window
BUT they were soooo nice to us. Of course they were. They were in the process of setting us up, and robbing us.
Much to my utter disgust we chose to return their affections, thinking we were the ones in control of what was happening. Being utterly drunk and in the no fit state to make serious decisions, I remember falling before one of the guys had left. I awoke the next morning to my friends frantic shouting.
Where was her Ipod?
Where was the $300 that was on the coffee table in her purse?
Of course it took less than a second to realise what had happened. THE BASTARD! Soon after i realised my mobile phone which had been on my bed-side table....inches from my face....had been taken also whilst i had been sleeping. It still makes my skin crawl. Several other smaller items had been taken; it was something the whole day was tainted by - noticing yet another item that was no longer where it should have been. The worst thing of all of it was watching my friend. She normally has the balls of an ox, theres nothing she wouldnt try, so confident and out-going. That day, something changed in her.
Despite this I still feel lucky. Both of our passports remained, as did our digital cameras. But most importantly we were okay, and un-harmed. Physically at least. Ironically we were due to fly later that day and we unable to do bugger all about the incident, apart from informing our manager at the Lodges. In a way this was for the best- I dont think either of us would have been able to stay there again that night had we not been flying til the morning, we didnt feel safe there anymore.
It's a leason we learnt the hard way; its only so easy to believe yourself almost indescructable, even in twenties we made the mistake of thinking being young makes you untouchable and that these things will never happen to you. In all my years of travelling this is the only negative experience ive had (touch wood) but i know that many others arent so lucky.
Alcohol is BAD news. Soberly neither of us would have made such bad judgements... we were stupid. If your in a big group then great. But two girls alone.....wasted. Your asking for trouble.
The excitement didnt end there. Later that night at the Airport terminal, due to problems with her visa, my friend was denied board onto the flight as they felt she wouldnt get through New Zealand Immigration......apparently (which, just for the record, they were totally wrong about). But they took her off into a back room of the airport to talk to her, leaving me alone, absolutely terrified, watching the departure lounge slowly empty as the other tourists embarked the plane. If we missed that flight neither of us the money to re-book, but after what had just happened there was no way I could have left her behind. After an hour of airport interogation for Alex, we were finally reunited and the last two people to board a now very delayed flight back to auckland (THANK FUCK!!!!!!!). When that plane took off......up into the midnight sky of the south pacific I have never felt such relief in my entire life. The past 24 hours had been such an emotionally exhausting experience, for both of us, and despite our normal trademark sadness of having to leave a new country, we smiled with happiness as we saw the lights of rarotonga fade into the distance.
Now, the last thing I want is for someone to read this and be put off, in any way, by the islands. The Rarotongans were such an incredibly beautiful and friendly race. With the obvious exception, everyone I encountered was helpfull and happy, seemingly proud to see our european faces enjoying their country. Some of the smiles I received from random ladies or children in the street were so authentic and radiant it actually warmed my blood a little. Far friendlier than the looks from youths back in the UK. A lot of these familes have so little compared to us, they earn little money nor have half the amenities we will through life. Yet they smile. They smile from ear to ear. They laugh and play and dance. And they have an Island paradise home that radiates that happiness and spirit, which I recomend anyone to go see for themselves.
Unfortunately I wont be going back. Well, the only reason I would be going back would be to track down that one-eyed loser and manually remove the testicles from his body with my teeth :)