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Published: November 23rd 2008
I was up early which is pretty much always the case when its time to move on, Veia drove us to the airport at 8.30am where we were able to grab a toasted sandwich for breakfast. Later Ruth went to throw her wrapper in the bin, a moment later she came back raving about big spiders in the bin, I went over to look and it turned out to be a land crab, after seeing that one we began to see others scuttling around the place. We arrived back in Rarotonga about 10am, while I went and got a car from the hire place across the road Ruth collected our luggage. I went back to the prison on my way back to Muri but there were still no Ukekeles there that appealed to me and Ruth still wouldnt get out of the car, after a slow drive stuck behind a crawling cop car we arrived at the hillside units where we were staying that night. Ruth's mum and aunty arrived back at their unit later in the afternoon, I took them to the airport at midnight for their 2am flight back to Australia.
Our flight to Papeete on Tahiti leaves
at midday and we got to choose our own seats which was great for once, the flight will take 2hr 45 minutes, and suprisingly the food was good, wasnt to keen on being fumigated by the stewardess though. We arrived at 3pm and rang the guy at Chez Myrna the guest house we were staying at in Papeete then grabbed some cash from an ATM. Walter a funny little German guy eventually turned up to collect us, this city is far larger and more populated than anywhere in the Cook's and the city is'nt very pleasant.
Not long after arriving we left our little room with the shared bathroom and walked the 20 minutes or so in to the city centre, not an overly pleasant walk, this place reminded me of Asia with bad drivers and the stink rising from the drains which is so common in the tropics. Visited the Notre Dame Cathedral and then headed down to the waterfront dodging homeless people and garbage as we went, its strange to see homeless people here as there were none in the Cooks as the people there own all the lands so never have this problem. Discovered the tourist
office and booked ourselves on an inland 4wd tour for tomorrow morning before scoring a Royale with cheese on our way back to the hostel picking up a few bottles of the local brew on the way (Hinano).
I woke up screaming during the night I dreamt a huge bug was walking across my face, the huge cockroach in the bathroom must have slipped into my subconscious. Eventually woke at 6am and went for our free breakfast which consisted of french sticks jam, butter and coffee, I enjoyed it and ate copious amounts. There were an American and Dutch couple at the table so we chatted with them until the tour truck arrived to pick us up 9.15, its raining lightly today, and headed towards the Papenoo Valley. The scenery here was prettier, dense vegetation a multitude of waterfalls the most spectacular being Topatari, Vaiharuru and Puraha.
The valley has several hydro dams on the island which were sluicing due to all the rain so we were crossing underwater roads through fast moving moving water, I hopped of the back during one crossing, the water was pretty strong for a moment I thought I would get washed away.
One of the dams looked a little like a Mayan pyramid and was impressive especially when we crossed the flooded road directly underneath. It was then onto a Tahitian Marae which was probably the best we had seen so far and definately the oldest, was still raining so the walk there and back was a bit slippery and the mosquitos were rampant. On the way back we checked out a natural lava tube blowhole that shoots up from the side of road, then it was on to Point Venus where we checked out a light house and a few memorials, I found the mud crabs scuttling all over the place much more interesting, the guide explained to us that the people here would rather eat Mcdonalds, so perhaps they wont become extinct after all.
They dropped us at the guest house a little while after that, I made a quick trip to the shop to get some french sticks, cheese and more beer for dinner, I am a great cook.
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