Day 21- Rarotonga, Cook Islands

January 31, 2018 again

It was a glorious sleep-in today, having arrived last night at around 10:30 pm and lights out after midnight.  Some time was spent studying the bus schedule, while Pete walked down to the local store to get more water and internet vouchers.  We decided to take the clockwise bus, instead of the counter-clockwise bus around the island to get the most road time viewing the snorkeling beaches and sites.  

Here is our new home with a view. We aren’t right on the water, but have a view between 2 other bungalows towards the lagoon in the photo below. The little guy in the featured photo is a land crab that lives in a hole right off our deck.  He has been checking out the new tenants.

We waited and waited for the bus, I obviously read the schedule incorrectly.  Finally getting on we have scoped out the beaches and found a great place for snorkeling with a restaurant right across the street.  

Both of us were amazed by the sprawling Flame trees all around the island.  The road circles the perimeter of the island with few roads going into the steeply mountainous interior.  

One thing we noticed today were the abundance of cemeteries. We will have to find out if there is one for every family, because that certainly seems to be the case. There are even tombs in peoples’ yards. Don’t think I’d like getting up in the morning to make tea or coffee and see grandma’s tomb out the kitchen window.  This is a interesting cultural custom that will need to be explored.

There were many abandoned concrete buildings around the island, with all the lush vegetation they manage to look quite picturesque. We got off the bus in town, to pick up a few things we could use in our travels. The driver was super nice and told us about the fish and chips at Trader Jacks. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was 3 pm, we walked right over to get some food after our little shopping expedition. Here’s what we found out, 95% of the restaurants on the island close at 2:30 pm and re-open at 5:30 or 6 pm…..rats!

The bar was open with the regular suspects lined up on stools. We had a consolation drink and headed out to pick up the bus for our bungalow.  We messed up on the schedule again and waited about 50 minutes, alternately walking and waiting, until a lady took pity on us and offered us a lift. Of course no sooner did we get in her car, when the bus came. Along the way our Good Samaritan asked if we had been to the night market yet.  It is only open Wednesday and Saturday with food stalls set up by different residents on the island. Pete had big fresh Ahi steaks, with rice and apple/pecan salad, I had the Ahi curry with rice. 

We couldn’t resist a couple of desserts to go, will dive into those shortly. The food was divine, keeping in mind that we were both ready to chew a leg off at that point. It was only about a third of a mile back to our bungalow, so we took another walk to make room for the decadent looking chocolate cake.  

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