I'm moving to the Cooks cos I'm a only a medium

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Rarotonga, Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
21/10/09 Day 12 Aitutaki and Avarua, Rarotonga



Teu came over early and we asked what time she'd be taking us to the airport . Got a funny feeling this hadn't been thought about. She came back and told us that Moeau was heading into town in a few minutes to fuel up one of the four wheel drives and he'd drop us off. His wife was actually due back on the flight we'd be leaving on.

Said our goodbyes to Teu. Nicholas came over before he headed off on his run and then we went and said goodbye to Louisa, Gustav and Ingrid. The kids were so gorgeous and shook our hands and said goodbye. Amazing to think they will go home to Denmark, at the ages of five and four, with a new language.

On the way to the airport we told Moeau we'd been to Samade and that we'd had a great night. Think he was surprised. He said they were in trouble due to cut backs, especially on food. He also said they weren't busy accommodation-wise. That wouldn't surprise me as advertised rates were about $250 compared to the $100 to $150 less you could pay at Inano half a kilometre away. None of their bungalows even look directly onto the lagoon .

Got allocated the same seats in row one so would have trouble with getting good pics. Hostie didn't sit in the single though so I asked if I could move. Not before takeoff but the seat belt sign went off about 10 seconds after we took off and she told me I could move across. Was caught unawares so when I thought I was filming a movie of the lagoon I wasn't. Damn!! When I realised and started recording, I only managed to catch the very end of the lagoon.

Another smooth flight so my fear of planes without jet engines is no longer.   Well, at least of the ones with two propellers.

Walked across the road to Aquarius Resort and checked in. Room was about 10 minutes from being ready so we got a fruit smoothie and sat out by the pool. The place is even better in real life than photos. Amazing to think its two minutes walk from the airport. The rider is that it sits between two fuel storage areas and is two minutes from the airport . The whole place would be gone in a flash if anything happened to either of the fuel storage areas. Eek!

Room was huge although just a bit odd. They face roughly west and have a huge picture window. In summer they would get bloody hot because they only have a ceiling fan and louvres at either side of the big window. No aircon. Only the two dorms have aircon. We realise we could have just booked into the dorm for about $60 for the two of us instead of $150 that we'd spend maybe two hours in.

Walked into Avarua. Took just over half an hour, longer than Al thought it would. Took some pictures of the Esperanza, Greenpeace's ship that was docked in the port. The black helicopter we'd seen on Aitutaki was on the helipad.

Visited the odd-?-quaint-? museum. Was actually very interesting but it's so obvious that the real (I hesitate to say native) Cook Islanders don't have much interest in it (displayed history) and that it's more something that the 'western' Cookies have put together .

Lunch at Trader Jacks again. Bloody fantastic calamari strips. Gee they were good. The other meals were ok but certainly not as good as our first meals there. Had a few mojitos - deeeeeeeeeeeelicious. Was a really nice way to wrap up the holiday.

Headed back to the hotel and the Kiwis we'd met on the lagoon cruise yesterday were out by the pool. Had a few beers that turned into quite a few more beers. Gary and Lee were great company. Ended up having dinner as well. It was the Woman of the Month dinner in the restaurant. As it opened onto the pool area we ended up attending as well. Seemed to go on and on (like this travel log). Lee's cocktails were making the ceremony much more fun for her than us. A few whistles and yahoos and some loud clapping from Lee certainly livened up the evening. Funny, but just a little embarrassing.

Called it a night at about 8 and headed to the room for some sleep . Only managed about 1 1/2 hours. Not enough to be of any use but just enough to make us very dopey when we got out of bed.

Headed over to the airport at 11.30. Very long queue that brought back memories of the Brisbane episode. Moved ok but still took over 30 minutes. We'd thought about heading back to the hotel and waiting over there but no time now. We were checked through to Brisbane and given boarding passes for the AKL-BNE flight. Row 13. Fingers crossed

Found Graeme and Pam and had a chat in the departure 'lounge'. Then they called us to board. Was an A320 this time so new it would be a bit cramped. Plane was pretty much loaded and ready to go 20 minutes before we were scheduled to take off but a few stragglers meant we only took off five minutes early.
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