Sunday, October 11, 2009
Rarotonga, Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
11/10/09 Day 2 Muri Beach

We woke up and apart from busting for a pee, all we could say/I can still say is wow! The living room has some high windows around it and from the platform we could see out across the amazingly blue lagoon . The rain had gone and the sun was shining. Yahoooooo!!!

The balcony was the other reason we chose the pole house. It's built right over the rocks that fringe the headland that marks the end of the Muri Lagoon.   I am not a religious person but I found myself in heaven as did Al. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Got dressed and walked along the beach all the way up to Muri Beach Club and back. By that time we were both starving so we headed down the road to the ’village’.

Found a fantastic café where Al had what he described as the best tasting eggs benedict he’d had. My mushrooms (that had been soaked in raspberry juice) and bacon was equally delicious. Certainly not cheap though. We’ve been told nothing here is. Iced coffees - $8.50 each!! Over brunch I told Al that I wasn’t comfortable staying in the pole house and that I would ask Gwen, the owner, if we could move to one of the other cottages .

Bought some supplies on the way back to the cottage. First up beer - VB (yes, I know) two six packs @$18 each!!!! Then a freshly baked baguette and some French camembert. Finally milk and cereal.

When we were buying the cheese and baguette we noticed a sign that said 'no alcohol sales on Sunday‘. Mmmm…  That’s why we were getting some funny looks walking along with a bag of beer. Not sure why they even sold it to us at the supermarket. Bloody glad they did though.

Time to hit the lagoon. Slathered on the sunscreen, slipped the Big W reef shoes on and off we went to test the new camera. Didn’t see that much life apart from one starfish, some purple coral, a few fish and ten gazillion sea slugs. My god! They are everywhere. Literally millions of them. I’ve since heard they are an a bit of an ecological disaster and are literally covering the lagoon and everything in it with slug shit . Sounds yummy heh? All we know is that they feel pretty gross when you stand on them.

We walked - why swim when you can walk? - right across the lagoon to the motu across from the pole house. It never got over our shoulders although I was on tippy toes a couple of times. The water varied between Thailand-warm and everywhere else warm. Was great fun. Was fantastic to have a camera we weren’t concerned about getting wet.

When we’d morphed into giant prunes (Al was only medium sized) we realised it was time to dry off and track down Gwen to talk about moving. Had our cheese and baguette and washed them down with a couple of VBs (very classy). Saw Gwen walking across from her house. Had a long chat about all sorts of stuff, her life etc, and I broached the subject of moving. She was fine and understood that the loft wasn’t for everyone. Said she’d check the bookings for one of the other two cottages (some people were arriving at 6am today into the other one) and called a couple of minutes later to let us know we could move tomorrow . Thank goodness. I wouldn’t have been comfortable spending another five nights up on that platform.

Headed back up the beach to find somewhere for dinner and ended up at the Barefoot Bar at the Pacific Resort. Our very obviously gay waiter was from Santiago Chile and has been on Raro for a year this week. He’s off on holidays for two months but reckons he’ll be back even though he’d told us that Raro ‘eez boring’ and there ‘eez no action’. Why come back then? I can hardly imagine there’s a thriving gay scene but gee there seem to be a lot of us here. Maybe he likes islanders? Or holidaying husbands?

Dinner was very good - service, presentation and quality. It was great fun sitting in a restaurant that was just a big marquee plonked on the beach. It was even better fun being able to kick your thongs off and dig your toes in the sand. Compared to the crazy prices in stores and cafes, the meal was standard Briz restaurant prices . We walked back along the beach, glad we’d brought the torch as it was very dark again. Only a few stars were peaking out through the clouds and there was no sign of the moon.

Another scary night up on the platform. Gee was I glad to get down that ladder for the last time. I knew we’d miss the unbeatable view and felt really bad that Al would have been happy to stay if not for the scared whale. The sun had gone in to partial hiding Monday, saving us from more sunburn for the day. Somehow, even though we were sun-blocked up, we both managed to get our chests a bit burned while sitting out on the verandah the previous afternoon.
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