Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stopping in Rarotonga - Day 2

Tuesday, nothing urgent calling us. Today is tourism day. After
breakfast, we took care of a few chores on the boat, gave our clothes to
the laundry and Claude and I set out to visit the island. There are 2
buses, a clockwise and the anticlockwise. In each case, the ticket is 4
NZ$, but if you want a day ticket, which allows you to get off and on as
often as you want, it's 16 NZ$. We opted for the 16 one, and for the
clockwise one. Since they drive here on the left side of the road, I
figured that being on the clockwise would give us a good view of the
beaches. The complete round trip is exactly 10 miles. We first did one
short leg to a place called "Muri Beach". It is on the east coast but
the beaches are well sheltered by a few offshore islands, offering a
nice clear lagoon. We walked the beach and stopped for drinks and lunch
while watching people doing wind-surfing, swimming, kayaking, etc....
Very relaxing.
After lunch, we felt that we needed to walk it off, so we sent on foot
for a couple of miles along the road. As we did, a car passed us,
stopped suddenly, and the driver that emerged from the car turned out
to be an old friend of Claude who had settled in the Cook Island to take
care of the sailing activity for the youngsters, so successfully that
they came back from the Pacific Games with several medals. After a quick
chat, he invited us for dinner the next day.
We went back on the bus and got off in an area where we though we would
see more activity. There was not much, apart from more beaches and
hotels, and we got back on the bus to go and visit the Parliament by the
airport. Unfortunately, they close at 4 and we got there at 1 past four.
So we stopped for soft drinks in a bar opposite the airport and walked
back to the boat.
We only had time for a short nap, after which we went out again for
dinner in a very nice indian restaurant and I though for drinks and
music at the "Banana Court". But when we got there, nothing was going
on so we ended up again at the Trader Jack where we met an unfortunate
canadian sailor who had sunk the day before 140 miles from Rarotonga on
a wooden double masted boat and was rescued by the Cook Island Coast Guards.
We then walked back to the boat, and by that time the northerly wind
had made it quite a challenge to transfer in the dinghy from a slippery
ladder and then back on board.

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