Saturday 6 April 2013

Cook Islands Travel Journal - Day 3

Dear Diary,

It was still dark when I woke to find Mick creeping in from the balcony.  I wondered what crazy hour of the night it was, but was pleasantly surprised to find out it was 6.30am - the sun rises here at 7am.

Mick had been woken by the splashes of super-sized bonefish chasing baitfish around the pylon of our bungalow.  In a flash, he had a line in the water - the first 2 casts each returned a trevally - a pretty good start to the day from my perspective!  But, of course, having never had enough of fishing, Mick persisted and was soon rewarded with a good-sized sweet lip - victory!

We had breakfast at the Bounty Restaurant - our included tropical breakfast was fantastic!  While Mick satisfied his hunger with his absolute favourite, pancakes, I was delighted with my muesli and fruit which came served in a coconut!  Does this place ever cease to amaze??

Fish feeding was scheduled for 10am, so we joined our tour guide, feeding bread to fish, just to the right of our bungalow.  Mick enjoyed testing his new underwater camera, while dozens of fish fed around it.

Next we decided to wet our snorkeling gear - how fun jumping in up the beach and drifting down to our bungalow!  Believe it or not, the best fish we could find were right at our doorstep - a clump of coral right beneath our private jetty was home to all sorts of fish, large and small, striped and plain, nonetheless breathtakingly beautiful.

We paddled around for a while, Mick snapping away on his camera, capturing these precious moments, ensuring we have the photos as keepsakes for years to come.  Even now, looking at these pictures of fish, starfish and striped eels, I feel nostalgic, knowing that it will be quite some time before we come back to this amazing location.

Our next adventure beckoned, and soon we were on the 'Town Run' bus ride, which dropped us in the heart of Aitutaki for 1 and a half hours.  We set off on foot to find some lunch - a yummy steak burger we shared overlooking the Port of Aitutaki - yet another blue haven of water, so beautiful, so surreal.  

Then we wandered through the markets and shops, looking at the souvenirs and keepsakes that were generally limited to sarongs and coconut soap.  I bought some postcards and stamps, and my favourite souvenir - Cook Islands post it notes, (yay!  stationery!) to remind me of this amazing trip once I am back at work again.  We also stocked up on beer and chips, and then soon enough we were on the bus heading back to the resort.  The motorbikes scooting around town, interesting houses and the shops were soon behind us.... and back to paradise it was!

A quick nap on the bed for me, while Mick flicked his rod off the bungalow jetty, and then we decided that we needed a snack.  We toddled back to the Beach Bar for wedges and drinks, once again lost in our gaze at the beauty of nature surrounding us.

We kept busy for the next few hours back at the bungalow, Mick fishing of course, while I caught up on my journalling.  At 6pm we realised that we had missed the Sunset Cocktails with the Manager, and hurried up to see the 'Crab Racing'.  But we had been so lost in our own little world that we had missed that too!  Nevertheless, we ordered a cocktail each to celebrate happy hour and then returned to shower and dress for dinner.

The Bounty Restaurant was the place to be, with an A-La-Carte menu, and also the venue of tonight's Island Fire Show.  We were lucky enough to get front row seats, ordered a bottle of wine and a seafood dish each, and settled back to enjoy the show.

Island drumming and dancing, by both 'ladies' and 'warriors' captivated our attention for the duration of the show, the highlight being the fire-twirling performed by some very talented Island Warriors.

Just as the show came to a close, and we were preparing to call it a night, the host announced that the dancers would be inviting some of the guests to show them just what we had learnt...

Before I knew it, I had been invited for a dance - hmm, I was off to shake those voluptuous hips of mine - LOL!

My island warrior informed me that were 2 beats - slow and fast.  He said to watch the island ladies and copy them - oh, how I laughed!!  When my turn came, I attempted (meekly) to shake my hips and get into it... He was very encouraging and told me I did well - how sweet, I know I was terrible!  Albeit confronting and embarrassing, it was a lot of fun and certainly something that I will remember from our trip for years to come.

Read the rest of my Travel Journal entries here:


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