Published: August 20th 2008August 16th 2008
Bored of the local lagoon which was a bit smelly, we decided to trek to the other side of the island where we knew the swimming and snorkelling were much better. It didn’t look too far on the map but then we weren’t sure how accurate the map was!
Around 10am we set off. Luckily today was a bit cooler with a few clouds in the sky so if we were ever going to manage the walk, today was the day. We'd just walked out of the drive and turned onto the small quiet road by the airstip which led towards the other coast, when a car pulled over in front of us. It was a lady and her daughter who were on holiday and they offered us a lift over to the other side. Perfect timing!
In minutes we were on a white sandy beach with a sandy bottomed lagoon scatted with coral heads. The beach was deserted. The only people in sight were a couple out snorkelling together in the distance. We’d been missing this sight over the past few days as although our resort is pretty, it’s not the best water for snorkelling.
straight in with my snorkel and fins. As soon as I put my mask under the water I was treated to an amazing display of tropical fish. We should have invested in a fish book of some kind as I saw so many different types - Sgt Majors, Angel Fish etc but I don’t know the names of most. There were black fish, grey fish, bright blue fish, multicoloured fish, speckled fish, stripey fish. In about ten minutes I’d probably seen about fifteen different types. One really large fish (about 40cm) stared at me head on and didn’t seem phased by me at all so I changed direction as he looked a bit big to argue with. I circled some coral heads a few times which were full of fish diving in and out and hiding in holes. The fish didn’t seem at all bothered by me snorkelling over them and they only swam away if I made a big splash.
I came out to dry off for a while and let Matt go in. We had all of our camera equipment with us and didn’t want to leave it alone on the beach so we took turns going
in for a snorkel over the next few hours.
When one of us spotted a particularly good coral head we pointed it out to the other so that we both got to see all of the different fish. It was a superb day and my best ever snorkelling experience so far.
After about three hours we felt it was time to set off on the trek back. We estimated that it would take about half an hour, maybe a bit more. By this time it was 1.30pm and the sun was hot and the clouds were gone. We covered up, put on our hats and donned more factor 50 sunblock before setting off on the road next to the airport runway. Twenty minutes in we were melting and starting to waiver as the resort still wasn’t in sight. Then, to our rescue came a car with a couple of tourists in who were staying at the spa resort next to ours. They gave us a lift right to the café next to our resort where we’d been planning on going for lunch anyway.
It took a while to cool down in the café as we really had
A native bird.
I have no idea what this bird is but it was big. Mynah birds have taken over at the Cook Islands so it's not often you get to see another type of bird there.
been starting to overheat. Luckily it was cool and we sat and had lunch and cold drink.
After the mornings adverntures we felt that we’d had too much sun, and too much food, so settled back into our room with the fan on full speed. We enjoyed a bottle of wine on the deck before the mosquitoes appeared and then we went inside behind the screens.
Mosquitos are the worst thing about Aitutaki. They are everywhere. I don’t usually get bitten often but I now have at least fifty bites and Matt probably has the same (although he claims that his itch more than mine!) Even our super strength insect repellent doesn’t seem to do very much to help.
It seems that paradise does have some downsides!
There are more photos below