This is going to be a brief potted verison because I don’t think you want to know every last detail and besides, I want stories to tell In Real Life too.
Lee and I took our longest ever International flight together all through Monday night. The movie was Robots and I couldn’t sleep.
Rarotonga is such a beautiful Island. Hibiscus bushes are used as hedges, and they were all in flower, lovely deep reds mostly but some pale pink and purple too. Because of the hurricane earlier this year there were lots of uprooted trees and there was next to no fruit available. Most of the food is imported from NZ anyway so I didn’t get much exotic fare.
We stayed in a rental house which was dirt cheap and really nice. It had lovely high ceilings and tiled floors so it didn’t get too hot inside. It also had a large gecko population, and I have some neat photos. They’d surprise you coming out from under bags or from behind things and scurry up the wall. We had some teeny weeny ones and a couple of rather large ones, I didn’t see any that were longer than a paperback novel for reference.
Mostly we lay about in the sun or went snorkeling. Rarotonga is entirely surrounded by a coral reef so the beaches are all quite shallow and the water is warm. On the other hand the sand is strewn with broken bits of coral so it’s hard to walk on and there’re lots of mini-coral rocks in the lagoons. This means regualr swimming is kinda hard but it’s great for snorkeling. I saw lots of neat fish including these really long thin needle-nosed silver guys that would pretend they were sticks. They’d look at you approaching with their big eyes and when they saw you weren’t fooled that swim off like eels.
I saw a white eel with markings like mystic runes painted down its sides in brown. I saw fish coloured like a bad 80’s t shirt and some in really quite fashionable colours (white with lime green and pink spots darling. Gorgeous!) I saw a weirdo flat fish with both eyes on the top of its head laying in the sand almost completely camoflagued. I think you could go snorkeling and see very little if you weren’t patient, a lot of the fish are very well hidden and you just have to look harder until you see what’s *really* there.
We ate dinner out at restaurants nearly every night and if anyone’s heading that way I especially recommend Tamarind House (where sister girl got proposed to) and the Island Night at the Edgewater Resort. They had this huuuuuge buffet dinner, a huuuuuuuge buffet dessert followed by dancing and this guy husking a coconut with his teeth. That’s hard core.
I wish I could have found a tshirt that said: Rarotonga: Replete because all the meals were very generous!
I bought some very beautiful pareu (sarong) fabric and pretty carved pearl jewellery. The town is lovely and small and hot and everyone’s on “Island Time. ” Wellington seems huge and rushed in comparison. My biggest complaint (now that the Raro Belly is mostly cleared up) is that I’m back home in the cold place. I was wearing short shorts and a singlet a couple of days ago and I was too hot. Now I’m in a zillion layers and woolen accessories and I’m not warm enough!
I have some gorgeous photos to show you. But later. Oh and there was also the giant spider attack, but I’ll tell you that IRL if you’re lucky.
ETA: I’ve had some questions about where we stayed. It was Ava Lodge and I really recommend it.