Published: July 8th 2011July 5th 2011
Rarest of Flowers
found only in Raratonga
What is rare here, well the beautiful orange flower only grown here in Raratonga. Fast Speed Internet is also a rarity. I was not able to send my blog out while on the island. To upload 20 pictures it would take 6 hours. The connection will only last about 15 minutes before severing. The cost per hour for internet is 10 NZD. A no brainer-I will have to wait to get to Auckland.
Rarotonga is in the southern group of the Cook Islands and hold half of the population just under 20,000 people. It is the largest island at 67 sq. kilometers and the coastal road being 32 kilometers. One of the highest peaks is the “Te Rua Manga”aka the Needle is 653 meters. The island is encircled by a reef with a lagoon that is great for all types of water activities.
Today I take the captain Tamas Snorkeling trip and there are 3 boats and each is filled. I felt like a sardine in a tin can. There was no room to move or to put your stuff you had to keep everything on your lap as you were body to body with the people next
20 minutes in the water and boring after that although the lunch was Yummy
to you. While everyone was signing up and getting their gear the staff put on a musical show. What I have seen, it is an island thing and everybody signs or plays instruments. A little voyage out to the marine preserve and we are in the water. The main goal on this trip is to see Charolette and Charlie the resident moray eels. It was easy to spot Charlotte cause she was hanging out of her hole. One of the staff dove down and petted her. The staff asked me if I wanted a closer look and I promptly said NO. She was bigger than any other that I have seen at about 4-5 feet in length and about the size of cantaloupe in diameter. Charlie is MIA and no where to be found. There are some other colorful fish and most swim out of my camera range by the time the camera snaps the shot.
After a 20minute swim we board the boat and dock on an island on the reef. I take a little time to explore the island while lunch is being cooked. The lunch was fresh yellow fin tuna, grilled onions, potato salad, coleslaw, grilled
bananas, papaya with shredded coconut. The tuna was awesome!
Now this is where the day went astray== A long and boring demonstration on how to tie a sarong. There are 375 ways. YAWN :-( . Then the demonstration of a man climbing a coconut tree; the husking; opening one and the liquid inside is the juice. The fact for the day is the juice is the closest thing to human body fluids. This liquid can be given intravenously in emergencies. Once the coconut is shredded the liquid from this is the coconut crème. My favorite Piña colada is made from this.
Finally the long winded Tamas is done and we head back.
Te Var Nui
I have about an hour to get ready for the Cultural Village and show this evening. It is only a short walk down the road. This village gives information on the Polynesia ancestors; that came to the island hundreds of years ago. The demonstrations include the deadly brutal weapons, the fishing tools, the weaving skills, their beliefs and gods, their native dress, Once again the coconut climbing thing. They even have tournaments for climbing and husking them with a 15 year
old holding the record of climbing picking, husking 20 coconuts in 30 seconds.
There is also a dinner buffet with the show some of the usual fare, curry chicken, marinated fish, salads, rice etc. all very good. Dessert fruits and caramel cookies, custard cake and others. I sit with an Australian Mom( 87 years old), daughter and a granddaughter, who are visiting Mum who live here in the islands. Very nice family and we talking about Alice Springs as they once lived there. I am the only American in the group of about 100+ people. The Australians help me yell out when they mention the USA.
It's around 10:30 and I have to walk down the road by myself. Luckily Adam gave me these finger tip LED lights and I just happen to have hooked on my travel vest. It worked great to light my way down the road to my guesthouse.
The night has a slight cool ocean breeze and I am longing to hit the bed.
There are more photos below