Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday 25th August

Cook Islands

21 12.295 S
159 47.091 W

Still feeling captive to the island we awoke to grey skies and more rain, a little lighter this morning but still wet! At least today there was the market to go to. We all went ashore for showers and then made our way along the road to the market which thankfully isn’t too far away. Despite the rain it was crowded and Gerry decided to go and sort out a hire car whilst Abigail and I went hunting down some vegetables and fruit. Picking our way thought the puddles, tourists and trestle tables laden with produce and crafts we managed to purchase the few things that we needed with the little bit of cash that we had left; we even acquired a $3 Cook Island note in our change, it was the first one we had seen and Abigail wants to take it home as a souvenir. Gerry found us as we were just about finished (and just in time to help carry the produce) and we all headed off towards the car hire place as the car wasn’t quite ready. There was a gift shop next door so we went and browsed in there whilst waiting for the car, it was ready long before we had finished browsing but I have to say at this point that I have been quite disappointed with the craft stuff – it is all mass produced and I think most of it is probably made in China if the truth be known! That which appeals to me is the stuff that I would have a hard time importing into Australia – the carvings and basket ware, so we left the stuff sitting on the shelves for some one else to buy. Now that we had wheels again the first stop was the bank, we had used up just about all the cash that we had, as it was also lunch time and the munchie twins – Gerry and Abigail, were starving we stopped at a popular café for lunch, the food was average and the wait for a table not worth while but at least we had eaten. After lunch it was time to go back to the boat via a different road. The obligatory afternoon nap followed and then at around !6.00hrs Gerry decided that we could go back out in the car and do some sightseeing around the island as the rain had let up a little. So off we set again in the anticlockwise direction with Abigail giving navigational instructions to take us to each of the marked sites of interest for tourists; we went on both the coast road and the inner road, backtracking each time so we didn’t miss anything.
I can’t say I have been more disappointed with sightseeing – the sights were few and far between and the “palaces” were just crumbling mounds of buildings that had seen better days (we hope). Things like the cultural village and botanic gardens were only open “Monday to Friday 9 till 4” so we missed out on those 3 places; the view point from the hill to the hospital was quite good but there was no where to stop and get photos and the Papua waterfall was just OK – when you managed to find it! The directions given on the maps were very indistinct and it was more by luck than anything else that we managed to find some of the places. We did notice that there are graves everywhere on the island; lots of people seem to be buried in the family garden or in small plots along the side of the roadways, not necessarily in church graveyards although there are plenty of them too (and churches at every ten paces!) We found ourselves back at the starting out point and made our way to Trader Jacks for a couple of pre dinner drinks, after which we were so hungry that we stayed put and ate dinner there too. I chose grilled fish for my dinner and it was delicious but both Gerry and Abigail chose a shrimp pasta which they both complained lacked flavour – oh well, it was food! After eating it was time to return to the boat and settle in for the night.



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