Kayaking, Paddle boarding, a brewery and mini golf


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Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga
May 9th 2018
Published: May 9th 2018
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Family paddle boarding
Monday morning dawned bright and clear. After breakfast Fletcher and I decided to try some kayaking. Once we worked out how to get into the boats we were off and enjoyed the peacefulness of the lagoon. I soon worked out how to paddle and we headed to the larger island and meandered around the lagoon for a while. We saw one large orange coloured fish but had to keep a look out for rocks as the water is quite shallow and I got stuck once or twice.

After that effort we rested for a while. The family decided to hire paddle boards and try their skills at stand up paddle boarding. We walked with them, well along the beach to the hire place. The younger boys had already learnt this skill but the little girls wanted to try as well. Tracey was the keenest. We sat down to watch as they were taught the basics and then off they went. Obviously, standing up on a paddleboard requires some skill and balance. Emilie caught on quickly, but Tracey had more trouble. She and Rowan provided us with much hilarity as they wobbled and fell off a few times. However, with great
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More shots of the paddle boarders
perseverance Tracey eventually stood up and paddled along for a while. Melissa, in her kayak, patrolled the stretch of water, steering wayward boarders if they travelled too far along the beach.

After an entertaining hour Fletcher and I left to have lunch. We returned to the Sandals and Barefoot restaurant on the beach in front of the Pacific Resort. Here we relaxed while consuming very yummy food, a large seafood chowder for me and bacon wrapped scallops for Fletcher all washed down with a nice Sicilian Rose. The others walked back past us and we waved as they returned to the villas. One of the interesting phenomena here is the local dogs. They all have collars,but seem to roam free on the beach. When they are in the shallows they are constantly on the lookout for fish in the water as if they are hunting them. They will fall in alongside us as we walk, very friendly. One of them flopped himself down at Fletcher’s feet, gave him a mournful look and then went to sleep with his head on his toes!

Returning to the villas we chatted to the others for a while as they ate the
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View from our lunch spot
leftover BBQ meat from Sunday night. We invited them all to Rickshaw’s Restaurant for dinner that night on us, as we wanted to thank them all for coming on this momentous trip. Then, after some resting and reading, we went for another stroll along the beach, so Fletcher could wade in the water to heal his scar. That night we all walked down the road to the restaurant which was an Asian fusion place. They had set up a table for us at the front and we proceeded to have a great shared meal with Kerala curry, Beef rendang, Pad Thai etc. Fresh and tasty food, presented well, with a great waiter and much conversation. I thanked them all and they assured us that this had been a great family holiday so far with more to come. A lovely night!!

Tuesday morning was very cloudy. The younger ones had planned to try the cross-island trek over the mountains and down to a waterfall. However, this plan was revised as it was deemed too wet and slippery to try it. While some drove to a snorkelling place and others to the shops to top up supplies., Fletcher and I tried
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Eric, the brewer, giving us the spiel
kayaking again. This time it was windier and the tide was way out so we kept getting stuck on the sand bars and the seaweedy rocks. It was hard going against the current and in the end we returned sooner than we had planned. The new plan for the day was to visit a local brewery and then go mini golfing. The adults left about 12-45 and drove anticlockwise around the island to Matutu Brewery, while the grandchildren stayed at the villas playing board games under Seb and Jude’s supervision. The brewery tour proved to be a winner. This is a local operation, using all natural ingredients and no preservatives. They do everything here by hand including the bottling. Eric, the brewer, explained the whole process while we tried three of their products, a pale ale, a lager and a stout. We were given generous glasses to taste. We also got some insight into local government and taxes on beer and the way Australian breweries dump some of their old stocks in the Pacific. From here, while Melissa and James drove back to pick up the kiddies, the rest of us headed to Cocoputt, to prepare for the mini golf
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Matutu Brewery
challenge!!

When we had all assembled James and I sat and watched while the rest headed out to the course. While there, a local policewoman had come in and Fletcher asked her if she knew Api Tapoki and she turned out to be her niece! She rang and told Api’s brother, Junior, to bring Api to meet us. He turned up while everyone was golfing to say he couldn’t find her, but James and I had a great chat with him about local policing and a variety of topics. Meanwhile, on the course, Fletcher managed to blitz them all and when the scores were counted he had the best of 48, which was under par!! Sam and Rowan were tied for second on 55 and they and Tracey had scored holes in one!!! After a final drink, we all headed home with the plan to go to the Muri Night Markets for dinner. However, Fletcher couldn’t find his wallet and we thought he might have left it on the bar at the Cocoputt. So we took one of the cars and drove there, only to be told it wasn’t found. We then drove on into Avarua and reported it
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Fletcher teeing off at Cocoputt
missing to the police as someone may have picked it up. It didn’t have much cash in it but the thought of getting all those replacements cards was rather demoralising. We returned to the villas, having circumnavigated the entire island and had another look. Fletcher found it as it was on the chair between the cushion and the side!! Much relief, but an hour and a half, wasted!.

The others had eaten and after text messages wondering where we were they finished their meals and headed back. We went to La Casita, a Mexican place next to Rickshaw’s. There we had great chicken quesadillas and beef and fish enchiladas for dinner. We then gathered at the “party house” as Zach calls it and had a nightcap while playing Trump Cards in which various quotations, supposedly uttered by Donald Trump, are read out and we had to decide whether they were really what he had said or fake news. Lucy won with 17/20 correct guesses and Fletcher and I were runners up with 16. A good finish to a mixed sort of day!!


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The rest of the family at the first hole


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