Saturday, October 18, 2014

On the occasion of my fiftieth birthday...

Astonishingly (and refreshingly), there is no McDonalds on the island of Rarotonga.

If I'd been told this at the beginning of our stay, I would have expected a very un-tourist-y family holiday.

We stayed at the Edgewater, which turned out to be the largest resort on the island. With hundreds of hotel rooms and villas (we stayed in a villa), it probably covered more area and had more inhabitants than Avarua - Rarotonga' downtown. So yeah, it is touristy - but not actually not all that touristy.

Some of the resort's more charming aspects, which made our stay all the more enjoyable, include: the super friendly staff; the very attractive floral prints they wear; the free range chooks that wander about unimpeded looking for tourist-borne snacks; the tropical fish-laden lagoon and the Ika Mata (raw fish marinated in coconut cream).

The boy introduced TLM to snorkelling, which quickly became her favourite daily activity (I myself took a couple of goes to get into snorkelling - breathing through a tube whilst under water freaks me out). TLM's second favourite activity was splashing me in the pool.

I painted my own sarong, TLM and I learned how to make a head garland from the gorgeous array of tropical flowers, and we all learned more than we ever thought we'd want to know about coconuts.

We also took a tour of the sights, on our last day. I was highly amused at the "sights" that we took in - the local hospital, several schools, the Cook Island house of parliament (which looks like a low-income boarding house) and so on. But there were some highlights too - the spot where the seven waka were supposed to have launched, carrying those who would become the New Zealand Maori hundreds of years ago; the beach at Muri; and the interesting but tragic story of a particular church built from huge chunks of coral reef (sacrilege, I know), whose builders died in the hundreds from lime poisoning.

And now we are back home. It's a relatively chilly 17 degrees Celsius but at least it won't be too hot to sleep tonight.


kiwiyarns said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!

Violet said...


Donna Soo said...

Happy birthday violet - Raro sounds great! And doesn't time fly - surely 50 is the new 40?

Violet said...

yes we loved it there -I for one would be happy to return and explore the bits we didn't get to this time around