Published: November 10th 2008September 4th 2008
To day is a big day up early again and waiting out the front of the resort for the four wheel drive tour group to arrive, 5 couples in total were on our vehicle. We then met up with to other 4wd's from Raro Tours, the tour leader then introduced himself and the drivers, we recieved some excellent commentary on various landmarks on the way to the first stop at Wigmore Falls. Unfortunately the waterfall was bone dry even though it looks like it will bucket down at any moment, after killing about a million mosquito's we then headed off up a bumpy track to a vantage spot where we were able to take some nice photograph's out over the motu and lagoon. It was here that the 7 canoes left Rarotonga centuries ago to populate what is now called New Zealand.
A visit to Arai Te Tanga Marae followed, we just noticed the tour leader as odd thongs on, one black the other red LOL, the marae is ancient in terms of the length of time the island has been occupied, about 800 years we were told.
It was then off to the companies head quarters near Avarua
to pay for the tour we seemed to wait around there forever trying to stay out of the rain. It was then off to the start of the cross island walking track were we took some photographs of Te Rua Manga or the Needle as it is called in English a rocky outcrop 413 metres high. We then did a bit of bush bashing which was fun before heading to Safari Beach for lunch. Lunch consisted of grilled broadbill sword fish salad and bread rolls. In a way the tour was probably not worth the $75 we paid but the driver was funny and the Raratongan are seriously nice people.
We were dropped at our accomodation at 1.30pm, Ruth immediately showered before going up to her mum's room to get ready for the wedding, me I sat back had a few ales and read a book, the wind is still blowing but Theresa has found a calmer spot on the other side of the island. I went and picked up Ruth's mum and aunty and drove to the wedding location arriving about 5pm. Our 4 guests were already snapping photograph's when Ruth arrived, she was being escorted from the
car to the beach by the Ukelele player as I waited not far from the tide line, she looked beautiful and not so stressed, the vows were over quickly and we were soon signing the register and my mum started to cry.
The ceremony was perfect we both enjoyed ourselves immensely and the champagne was the icing on the cake. Thirty minutes later the photographs were all taken the crowd that had stopped along the road to watch dispursed and we were heading for the Vaima Restaurant which had lovely authentic decour with ambience created by the candles and flowers set up all around our table. The food was wonderful the booze was good and the evening was supurb, all culminating with the cutting of the chocolate banana cake at the end.
It was a wonderful day that turned out exactly as we had envisioned it months before.
Woken by the telephone at 7.15, the lady who owns the resort had apparently forgoitten to tell us that we were booked on the cross island walk this morning, we planned to do it some days ago but had heard nothing and assumed there was no space on the
trek available. Pa's mountain walk is a trek across the island from North to South taking roughly 4 hours, the government had marked the trail so anyone could do it but Pa apparently destroyed the markers when business dropped, what a bastard.
We arrived at the start of the track where Pa Teuroa a white haired dreadlocked local who specialises in natural healing awaited us with rest of our group (about 20 people). He claims to be a spiritulist buddhist at the start of the walk but it soon became apparent to us that he was a money hungry fraud and braggart. We tried to explain to him that we had had no time to purchase water, so instead of sending someone to the shop he gave us a jar of some disgusting liquid made of honey and ginger, I hate ginger with a passion, he was dressed in a sarong and palm leaves.
The trek started with a tough up hill climb the tree roots were slippery and my heart was pounding by the time I arrived at a small clearing where we waited for the other walkers to catch up, some were quiet old. We then
took a short detour to the Needle and took some photo's before starting the 2 and a half hour walk to Wigmore Falls, going up had been hard, going down was treacherous I took a fall, my feet went from under me and a landed on my arse, thought I had broken my arm.
Then a little later I was climbing over a log when I split my pants, the humidity was making them stick to my legs, after that the walk was even more difficult until I finally just took them off. Another couple had a spare pair of red shorts so I wore them. By now I was in pain covered in mud and slime and wearing bright red pants, what rough day. Ruth tried to clean up my wounded arm which was covered in mud and blood, Pa had other ideas he wandered over interrupted Ruth's ministrations and started wiping Noni fruit all over the wound.
After what seemed an eternity we reached the river and took a break, a number of other people had also taken spills and we were starting to look like the walking wounded. Sitting by the river I noticed for
the first time the deathly silence, apart from the water there is nothing alive here, no birds, no bugs nothing, it seems the Indian minor bird has wiped out all the native species. Eventually we made it down to the falls it was a really tough walk and I was glad to finally get to the end, after washing the mud of our boots in the pool at the base of the falls we were taken back to our accomodation.
We planned to go on a pub crawl that night but neither of us was up to it after the walk, I did manage to take the shorts back to the couple that lent them to me and see my parents off to the airport. Looking forward to sleep tonight.
There are more photos below