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Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga
May 7th 2018
Published: May 8th 2018
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Lunch at Trader Jack's
Saturday morning it was bright and sunny. We all met by the cars at 10am and headed into Avarua for the markets. These are held every Saturday and are a bustling place with plenty of tourists and locals, and a mixture of souvenir and food stalls. As usual the local Cultural Group was putting on a show with young dancers doing the traditional dances to the beat of the drums. We wandered around here for about an hour and a half and then all recovened at Trader Jack’s for lunch. This is an iconic Cook Island restaurant. It overlooks the harbour at Avarua and has been hit by 3 different cyclones since 1986 when it was established. Now they can no longer get it insured so if a cyclone approaches they take out all the glass from the windows, remove furniture and can even pack up the downstairs bar and cart it away!!! Fletcher and I had gone ahead to book for our devil’s number and had a cold local beer while waiting for the others. Very welcome.

Lunch proved to be a winner. The menu is extensive and everyone said the food was delicious. I had one of the
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Cousins in the pool
specials, smoked fish cakes which were scrumptious while Fletcher enjoyed his huge serve of spicy fish tacos. It was a pleasant experience. Once back at the Villas the afternoon was spent by the children happily in the pool or on the kayaks while I was happy to relax and read my book. The rain set in and we had many showers scudding through. Fletcher and I did walk to the adjacent oval where we watched the local Rugby League team, the Sea Eagles, win against their cross island rivals. Lucy had contacted Phillip Nordt, the local president of La Chaines whom Norm had recommended to us. We booked at his restaurant, On the Beach for the evening.

With the rain intensifying we set out in the two cars with Lucy and James driving to Manui Beach Resort where Phillip’s restaurant is housed. It was nearly halfway around the island from Muri. The restaurant was indeed “On the Beach” in a large Marquee, however, the night did have a few bumps!! Firstly, Lucy had booked for 13 but when we arrived the booking indicated 2. While waiting for them to sort that out, Fletcher introduced himself to Phillip who was
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Local Rugby Match
surprised to see us even though Lucy had got a reply, supposedly from him, from his Facebook site. Anyway, he greeted Fletcher well and gave him a drink but apologised for being super busy. We were divided into two to start with on separate tables on each side of the room But, they did bring us a free entrée of Ika Mata each as an apology. This was delicious. We were then reunited. as a couple sitting next to one of the tables left and they managed to move more tables and chairs together. Then they took our orders. We had been there an hour by then and we proceeded to wait another forty-five minutes for our meals to arrive. They did bring food for Emilie and Scarlett earlier, but they were well finished by the time ours had arrived. When it came it was very good with my steak being tender and Fletcher’s Mahi Mahi OK. The wind and rain continued unabated outside with some of it leaking through the tent panels and onto those siitting next to it. The staff put up some makeshift sheeting to keep us dry!!

Overall, perhaps not the best advertisement for a
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Dinner at On the Beach
Chaines restaurant. To finish the night, the car Lucy was driving had a flat tyre. We were following them and came upon them on the side of the road. Fletcher stayed to supervise while we rescued Em and Scarlett and went on. Rowan had it changed pretty quickly but it was awkward in the steady rain.

Sunday morning dawned with the clouds having disappeared and the sun shining brightly. A glorious day. After a sleep in and breakfast Fletcher and I set out to walk across the lagoon to the island and Zach wanted to come with us. We waded across dodging large rocks and seaweed. The water was only waist high at its deepest spot and I only fell over once! On the island we wandered along watching the tiny hermit crabs in their small shells scurry across the sand. Zach found a coconut and tried to smash it on the sharp rocks to no avail, He persevered though! We then transversed the water to the other large island which is used by the local lagoon cruises a a picnic spot for the passengers’ lunch. While waiting for me to find a loo, one of the locals shoed
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At Lucy's villa
Zach how to husk the coconut on a large stick. Zach was pleased. While returning across the water we met up with Lucy, Tracey, and the rest of the grandchildren following our lead. We then did the return trip. Our lunch today consisted of cheese sandwiches from our supply of food and then we spent the afternoon reading and resting. On Sundays here, very little is open and restaurants can’t serve alcohol until the evening. Lucy and Rowan had bought enough meat for us to have a proper Sunday night dinner so while Rowan cooked the BBQ and James and Seb made the salad, we all gathered on the veranda of Lucy’s villa for our feast. And what a great feast it was. We also played a team game of identifying famous people from clues which was fun.



So far everyone seems to be enjoying the place and food and activities and the children particularly are all getting on well. Another pleasant day in Paradise!!


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Sunset at the Lagoon


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