Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuedsday 28th August

Cook Islands

21 12.295 S
159 47.091 W

This was to be our last day here – again! After breakfast Abigail and I decided that we would go on the local bus and see the botanic gardens, Gerry was invited and to our surprise he agreed to come along. We left in plenty of time to stop at the little espresso shop that we have become fond of and had a coffee to see us on our way. The buses run roughly half hourly and we caught one going anticlockwise around the island (they run in both directions but alternately). The trip took about half an hour and was the same route that we had taken in the hire car. When we arrived at the gardens we were the only people there and the café was empty. As it was just about lunch time we thought we would eat first and then walk around the place. The food there was mega expensive and the portions very small – not a good start.

The gardens cost $3 each to tour and there was no defined walkways, it was all a bit hit and miss. There were of course some nice shrubs and trees but on the whole I thought it needed a lot more time and work to make it a good tourist site. After we had finished our tour we went to wait for the bus, expecting to have to wait for at least 25minutes but luckily for us a bus came by within 5 minutes so we jumped on it and were heading back to the dock straight away. We got within 3 stops of the dock and there was a police roadblock – they were checking drivers licenses and had at least 3 people (looked like tourists) pulled over to book. It appears that this is a major revenue raiser for them as we got stopped for a license check on our first day out here in a hire car, luckily Gerry had his local license and it was no problem. As the license costs just $10 we can’t understand why these people wouldn’t have got one and it is advertised quite extensively that you must have a local license from the police station. Anyway Gerry got off at the dock and went to fill the water tanks on the boat whilst Abigail and I went on into town to see if we could buy me a new pair of polarized sunglasses as mine have broken, we found a couple of pairs but I wasn’t going to pay $300 for a pair to wreck on the boat so I’ll have to tape mine up and make them last for the time being. We walked back to the boat and Abigail stopped by the laundry to collect our last minute washing, she scored again – the girl in the laundry seems to like her and gave her 6 pearls; they are not good quality but 2 of them are quite nice and they will make nice costume jewelry. Whilst we had been gone Gerry smelt gas on the boat – coming from the propane locker; the bottle that we had just changed over seemed to be leaking. He disconnected it and took it to be refilled and to see if he could get a new seal – no luck there and he ended up just tightening it up as much as possible. Hopefully enough to stop the gas from leaking! Good job we have 2 bottles. As the afternoon wore on Abigail and I prepared dinner – a roast rib, well 2 actually which we finally sat down to eat at around 19.00hrs. Following dinner Abigail went off to visit the tattoo artist as he had invited her to see the tattooing he was working on that evening whilst Gerry and I read for a while before going to bed. The weather is looking better and we plan to depart in the morning sometime; as yet we haven’t decided if we are going to Niue or straight through to Tonga – it will depend on what the weather looks like once we get out of the harbour.



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