Day One: 4th June
To get to Paradise Inn (Where I am staying) I had a transfer van meet me at the airport. It took about 40 minutes to get to the motel – because we took the long way around the island. It is a shame my first sights were at midnight but I love it here already. It is really quiet which is going to take some getting use to…… It is my first time traveling alone, so this will be interesting.
For now: Time to Sleep
Day Two: 5th June
Today was amazing. I went into Avarua (Town) to get a coffee – the beans were grown locally and it was probably one of the best coffees I have had in a long time. I wandered around a bit, there wasn’t much to see… A supermarket, a few cafes/restaurants, booking offices, and a lot of tourist shops.
I did stop into one of the booking offices and met a really lovely woman named Belinda. She helped me figure out what I wanted to do while I am here.
The first thing I booked – paddle boarding for tonight with Ariki Adventures.
I was able to stand up on my first try when I went paddle boarding…. And it was probably the best thing I have decided to do so far. The weather was nice and warm, the water wasn’t cold – and the boards had LED lights on the bottom so we could see what was in the water (after all it was dark when we left!). We saw a lot of sea cucumbers, puffer fish, and tiny little fish that kept jumping on the boards….
I figured I will need a way to get around here, So I have hired a scooter. The licencing was pretty straight forward, go to the end of the road and back, then weave around some cones – but don’t fall off. Mine is a Yamaha something, its automatic which is good because its my first time using one. The speed limits are easy too. Inside town it is 30km/h, outside town its 50km/h. I didn’t get a helmet so I’m not able to go faster than 40km/h anywhere, but I’m not in a rush.
I did spend a lot of time at the beach today, and why wouldn’t I? It is beautiful! The only problem is the bugs… But I got bug spray before leaving town today.
Day Three: 6th June
Today is market day. I will be going into town to have a look around -after coffee of course. After that, I will be going to the cultural tour and then dinner/show at the Te Vara Nui village. As long as I am back at the motel by 3.30pm I will be there for pick up.
I haven’t been swimming yet, but I think I will do that tomorrow on the glass bottom boat cruise.
So, I didn’t buy anything at the market today…. There is another one that I will go to later in the week. I did get a coconut though – it was so fresh, they cut the top off in front of me, and handed it to me with a straw. TOTALLY worth it.
At the market, I met up with some people I met on the ride to the motel, and hung out with them for a while. After that, I saw the guys from paddle boarding and they invited me to come out with them during the day some time, and out to the Whatever bar on Wednesday… While I was a little home sick yesterday, I am feeling a lot better today!!!!!
The show was simply amazing. Anyone who goes to Rarotonga needs to do this. The food was great, the entertainment was great…. I can’t find anything to criticize. I was taught how to dance there (and even though I was horrible at it, I had fun)….
The cultural tour before this was interesting, it was great to see how the people from Rarotonga and the New Zealand Maori’s stories align. They are also very similar in the way that they use to hunt, fish, weave, talk, and fight…..
Day Four: 7th June
Today I went on the Koka Lagoon cruise. It was fun. The crew were pretty funny, and taught us a lot. We went out to one of the reserves they have there, and we got to swim/snorkel with the fish. There were a lot of clams….
It was my first time using a snorkel, and I am really looking forward to going diving tomorrow – slightly terrified (I am scared of water).
They put on a lunch for us, a lot of fish, sausages, fruit (I tried starfruit here for the first time), and of course…. coconut.
After we went back across from the island to the mainland, I went for a trip to Muri beach to catch up with the people that I went paddle boarding with. We went to see the movie: Woman in gold. It was a good movie, but the theater was so old!
Day Five: 8th June
Today I am going diving….. YAY!!
I am terrified of water, so this is a pretty big thing for me to be doing. I was quite nervous when we were getting geared up… The tank and rest of the gear was really heavy, and the wetsuit was hot. There were four others doing this with me today, they buddied up together and I was with the instructor…. this suited me just fine! We learned how to use the gear – how to inflate/deflate for flotation – and what to expect when under the water.
It was difficult at first, but eventually I got the hang of it. Breathing under water is one thing, but the valve made it a lot more difficult too. Eventually I relaxed, and it was great fun. We got to see all sorts of fish, and a baby moray eel. I also did the tests to see if I could dive off the boat on the other side of the reef…. I passed them, but I decided not to go out to the deep dive (scared of water and all, this was enough for me).
I really need a waterproof camera…..
Day Six: 9th June
The wind has picked up a bit today, only on the north side of the island though. Because nothing was really happening, I spent most of the day on the patio overlooking the water reading a book….. and that was literally about it.
Day Seven: 10th June
It was a quiet morning today, the rosters woke me again – that is something I wont miss….. Rising with the sun when dealing with jet lag was not something I enjoyed….
I went for one last scooter around the island, stopping in at Muri beach to get an ice cream and coffee before I leave (I will miss that).
Since the wind wasn’t as bad today, we went paddle boarding to a cafe to get lunch. The Mooring House have the BEST fish -anything- there. They had caught on fire earlier in the day, but you weren’t able to tell, they were still quick and everything was so fresh. The fisherman was bringing in more fish as we were eating!
For my last night on the island I will be meeting with Belinda and a few others for dinner and drinks.
Day Eight: 11th June
I had breakfast with Belinda today; poached eggs, toast, and coffee. This was just what I needed as I had a little too much to drink last night.
After this we went to the markets where she was working so I could have a look around and get some things before I left. It was here that I picked up the most amazing coconut oil. After this and some REALLY good food, it was time to go back to the motel to collect my things and catch the transfer shuttle back to the airport.
Not going to lie, I will miss this place.