A Travellerspoint blog

the gecko and the cockroach

sunny

As my name suggests I made two new friends the night before last! Despite my dread in meeting a flying cockroach it was a very little one and to cut a long story short it didn't last very long once the tailless gecko arrived. I did however move beds to the other side of the room to leave the gecko in peace while it hit the still slightly alive cockroach against the wall. Such a nice thing to listen to when trying to get to sleep.

So Tuesday I did very little of interest, I did some food shopping and sorted my New Zealand flight and Aitutaki flight out at the airport. I then went round to Aroa beach again and had a chill out there, then came back to the house for some lunch. I had planned on having some cold pasta and sweetcorn which I'd made the night before for tea and left in the fridge, however the fridge is so bloomin cold that it basically froze my concuction into a nice big lump of solid pastasweetcorn. It was not to be, so I had some toast and fruit weetabix. Fruity weetabix really is an indulgence, its $8!!!! Such a rip off. Anyway. I found out that Apollo 11, 12 and 13 had landed in the sea near Rarotonga, seems to be a favourite parking space of NASA. So long as they don't plan on dumping whatever that bit of space rubbish thats kicking about (or was, last time I saw anything resembling the news) near me then it is a nice coincidence. So yes, yesterday was rather dull, oh, except I decided to try and make roast potatoes having so much free time on my hands as I do, and it was quite lucky I do because they took about 2 hours to cook. I'm not sure I did it entirely correct in the first place, I boiled them, put some oil on a tray and whacked them in the gas oven. And waited forever. It could have been my crap oven which was to blame but I'm not too sure... Anyway, they were perfectly edible when they did eventually cook.

Today I drove in a circle around the island, as its my last full day with the car, sob sniff. I love driving here (just that tiny bit more than anywhere else) because the sun is shining and the breeze blows in the window while I just slowly cruise around enjoying the scenery and listening to Louis Armstrong, Stereophonics, Belle and Sebastian, Sinatra, to name a few. Went to Aroa Beach, another gorgeous beach I found by accident which was almost deserted as well, although not so good for snorkelling due to the water being mucho foggy. So after a while there (I didn't spend long as I had to park under a coconut tree and I read my terms of hire on the car and it says I have to pay for damage by coconuts!! Bummer, cos theres quite a lot of them around here.) Moved onto Muri beach which was lovely as ever. Did a bit more snorkelling but it was all the same fish, and lots of sea cucumbers which are disgusting. They're long a black like giant slugs and apparently some of the locals pick them up and rip them open. The insides look a bit like spaghetti apparently and they eat it raw, then chuck it back in the sea where the same one regrows itself to be eaten again! Eugh!! Anyway, I had a lovely lie in the sun. Its crazy, everytime I open my eyes and see the coconut trees and the turquoise blue water lapping on the nice clean white sand I can't beleive that I'm actually here in this amazingly gorgeous place. My only regret is that noone will ever fully know how pretty it is here and share it. I'm now onto my 6th book, getting trashier as I go. Looking forward to Auckland and a book shop. So then I got back to the house again. I shared my shower with a rather large (for my liking, if they get bigger than 1cm then its not cool) moth. But he happily stayed at eye level where I could see him and I managed to deal with it without screaming. So thats good! A family have arrived to stay in the units too so I'm not all alone here so much anymore. Looking forward to my bungalow on Aitutaki, and just Aitutaki in general. This evening I drove round to Muri beach while the sun was setting. Whilst on my way I stopped to take some pictures of the mountain/hills and misjudged in the semi-darkness the height of a rock and hit my knee of it which hurt like a rude word. And then my camera decided it would start to run out of battery. So all in all not very good. Got round to Muri beach and it was nice just watching the light slowly fade away behind the motus. Got a few snaps but not the ones I wanted. I realised though walking back along the beach that its not really right being here alone. Theres so many things that are different here that I want other people to know about and share with but there isn't anyone, and that really does suck. Anyway now I'm going to watch a bit of telly, hopefully something good will be on!

Love as always,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 22:14 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (1)

fake plastic trees

rain

Yesterday was a verrry nice day.

Firstly, I'd bought Weetabix with fruity bits in and it was sooo yummy for breakfast. Its wierd, I'm actually eating breakfast in this country. Then I drove round to Varas to pick Carolyn up, saying a breif hi to her new friends. We then went round to the Rarotongan (I'll map it out for you, the island is a circle, Tiare Village where I stay is North, Varas is East and the Rarotongan is South) and went to the spa and managed to be squeezed in then and there despite no booking. The massage was ammmazing, although I think I could also use the word 'crushing' at some points too. She asked how old I was and when I said 19 she looked shocked and said I had verry tense shoulders for someone so young! Anyway after that Carolyn and me headed to the resort beach, Carolyn decided to chance it and went up to the resort hire place where they give hotel guests free flippers etc and asked if we could have some and apparently got a rather hostile reply and told we needed a day pass to use the resort despite our 'spa day' as we called it. So we ran away to the beach and into the sea before they could kick us off! We had our own snorkel gear so it was all okay. There were so many cool fish in the sea, there was this huge blue silvery fish that swam in the shallow bit near the shore, then I saw this dark blue one with gold/yellow hennaish pattern around its eyes, it was gorgeous. Also some pointy long fish things. And then a guy was pointing under the water at me to what I though was a big rock until I took a closer look and it was a HUGE giant clam! It was like 2 foot big! So my waterproof camera came in handy, although being the idiot that I am I forgot my memory card so only had space for like 9 photos. So anyway, then we lazed on the beach, I'm going a lovely golden brown colour now - no more pasty skin, whoo! Then about 5ish I dropped Carolyn off and headed 'home' and made tea and sat on my varandah eating it. I then watched the Oscars, which were frequently interrupted by Cook Island adverts which are very funny and quiant but after you see the same one 5 times it gets a bit annoying. Went to my room about 10sih after watching Studio 60 and listened to music, drank a lovely cool Diet Coke and read, was rather nice.

Today I went round to Aroa beach, which is near the Rarotongan. Whilst driving over I noticed something on the dashboard and realised I had a little gecko sitting there, it then proceeded to crawl all over my dash, luckily in the opposite direction from me, otherwise I may have crashed trying to avoid it crawling onto me. I don't know where it is now, I had both the windows down so it could have fallen out. Anyway, wasn't on the beach v long because it was cloudy and then it started raining hard so I had to make a dash for the car. Came home and made lunch. Went into town and bought Alice a imperfect tahitian pearly. Ooh and popping chocolate! Cadburys! Why do we not have this in the UK??? Then had a dip in the pool and watched TV. Its now 8PM so think I'll settle down for another night in. Getting a bit bored, and now the whole place is deserted, noone in the pool units either now.

Haven't been feeling very home sick lately but now as I came online it kind of washed over me. But theres not much I can do about that being where I am! I'm looking forward to N.Z and seeing Nash and also getting away from these FUCKING MOSQITOS! They LOVE my legs which is not good at all cos they've made them all polka dotty. I've stopped using the mosi stuff cos after the first 3 days of being bitten alive I've figured they are attracted to the smell and still bite me. So now I'm going without, not sure if they're still biting or all the same bites are itchy but it is so very annoying. I haven't even seen a single one either so I can't take my anger out of them, they're invisable! Oh, was also gutted to realise that I don't have anywhere near half of my music on my ipod! I was craving a bit of Alanis last night and I only have 2 tracks, not the whole album! Not a happy bunny. I don't have any Nerina Pallot either and I really wanted to listen to her too. But never mind!

Anyway, sorry for the rather boring comment, there isn't much going on atm.
Lots of love,
xxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 21:25 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (1)

chasing cars

overcast -17 °C

Kia Orana! Yeah, thats as far as my maori goes...

So today it is Saturday, yesterday Carolyn and me drove up Hospital Hill. Why they decided to put their hospital at the top of this massively steep hill (I was a bit concerned about the little micra making it up but it was fine!) I don't know, especially when we saw the state of their 'ambulances'. Anyway, following the trusty lonely planet book we went on a 15minute walk up another very steep track to this opening in the trees where we could get a lovely view of the - ewww I just looked up and theres a gecko sitting on the wall next to me hitting a semi-dead fly against it, eugh - airport and beach and lagoons and stuff. Then we headed round to Muri Beach which is gorrrrrrrgeous. Its the lagoon with the 3 little 'motu's in (motus being little islands with trees on) which you can swin to. I however, was not feeling v adventurous and was enjoying the sun too much on the beach to go very far in the water, but there is plenty of time for that. Because its the low season atm, theres hardly anyone around, its so nice because you have this huge big beach and theres maybe 100 people just scattered about so it feels very personal. By this time it was about 4 so we went back to Tiare and had showers and got ready for the island night! We went to Staircase, which is Rarotongas idea of a club. We had a meal (all the local stuff, marinated beef, chicken wings, spinach in what I think was coconut, rice, potato salad (I am so chuffed they like potato salad, it is soo good) and star fruit. I couldn't eat much star fruit because it tasted too much like the smell of shampoo. The island night consisted of 3 people playing guitars (of all sizes) and singing local songs, which was nice until about the 20th song and they all began to sound a little bit similar... Then the warriors and dancers finally arrived. It was really good, their dress is kind of half Maori and half Hawaiian. So much banging of drums and foot stamping and dancing. After that was over we headed to Trader Jacks, this really nice big bar place next to the sea, so we got a couple of drinks and sat outside by the sea which was lit up by a light underwater, was mucho cool. Then we decided to try and find another bar... and failed! So we went back to Staircase to see if it had livened up (by now it was midnight and places shut at a reasonable 2am here on a Saturday, midnight every other day) but it hadn't and the music was a bit naff so we headed home, Carolyn driving because I'd had a drink or two more than her.

Today we got some food shopping in town and then I drove Carolyn over to Vara's on Muri beach where she is staying for the next week. Once we'd dropped all her stuff off we did a circle of the island dropping in at all the big resorts (I say all, I mean the 3 or 4 which are here) to get price lists for spas... We've decided on the Rarotongan which is probably the most expensive place to stay but all the spa things all cost the same so why not! We're planning on just hiding out on their private beach and pool and bar all day too as long as they don't notice...! They've apparently got octopuses (is that how you spell multiple octopus??? I don't think it is!) and giant clams and things so we're taking our snorkelling gear too. Shall be a rather nice day I think.

Since getting back to my rather empty quiet house (and mother before you rant I'm quite happy here and can't be bothered moving plus I've paid up til the 27th) I've just been reading and Adriennes popped round too. Made myself a dinner of potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes and corned beef with a little toast for good measure. So after this I think I shall retire to my room, coat myself in aftersun, have a little read and fall asleep. I've been sleeping so well here, the mattresses are soo soft.

I was thinking today about my trip in general, and having found it so much harder than I thought being away from home, and its made me quite gald that I did do it, because I think if I hadn't moving down to Oxford would have been a bit scary. But now, compared to being on the other side of the world on a tiny little island, I should find it that little bit easier.

Anyway, much love,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 21:01 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

in the summertime

sunny

Yesterday was sooo much better than when I arrived. I still haven't found my phone which I'm pissed about, but getting over it. Went for a walk to Black Rock beach and it was amazing, the sand is so white and the sea is gorgeous. Its all lagoony and the massive waves crash off the coral further out, so its kinda like a pool of safe nice calm water on the edge. Anyway, walked past the local school and all the kids were singing and it was cool. The people over here are so nice, they say morning to you as you walk past, and I went into a pearl shop and just had a chat with the woman in there. Really nice people.

I began writing that two days ago and then ran outa time, its not Thursday so I'll fill in briefly the last 2 days...

Tuesday was when I was writing about ^^^ and after I got back from my walk I realised I was lovely and burnt in a nice v-neck t-shirt way. Helen you know what I'm like with my tan lines - I am not a happy bunny! I am STILL desperatly trying to get rid of the lines by carefully applying my suncream... So Tuesday I was still settling in, Fee I had a big bowl of our leftover lucky charms and then stupidly left them out (wrapped up with selotape sealing them) and the next day the pesky ants had wriggled their way inside and not being one for eating bugs I had to chuck them away, it was a sad moment! So Then it got to yesterday and I stayed sitting on the varandah reading most of the day, avoiding the rediculously hot sun, so that was mucho relaxing. Its so nice and quiet here. The Ozzie/New Zelanders asked me out to go for a meal but I'd exhausted my cash and had spaghetti on toast to eat so stayed in. They got back about 9ish and invited me down to the pool for some drinks. Nad poured me this hazelnut liquor with a slice of lime and soda, sounds mingin but it was really nice in a wierd way. I found out that Shayne and Sherry were getting married (on Saturday) at another resort and were just staying here a few nights (not in the dorm, they were all in the nice units down by the pool). So that was really good banter, did a bit of star spotting, they call Orion 'the bucket' and have all these other funny names. But it was really fun, was sad when they left this mornin. I've just realised I've mixed all the days up, I can't be bothered going back and changing it all, basically yesterday was actually the day before yesterday - doesn't time fly! So anyway, last night (in the correct time frame now!) Carolyn arrived. Shes 28 and from the UK, on the last leg of her working round the world trip. Shes mucho friendly. I'd had something to eat already but she cooked up this tinned beef, boiled potato, onion concuction and shared that, which was surprisingly good! Then we sat down with the only video outside of the office - the hunchback of notre dam. It was so cool, I felt so sorry for qouisiemodo when Esmarelda runs off with the captain. Anyway, we had chocolate and then watched Shark or something later on.

So now I'm up to today! Me and Carolyn got a lift into town with Adrienne (the manager) and got some cash out, bought postcards then went to the Rarotonga Police Station to pick up my cook islands driving license! Its so cool, its a proper laminated license! So that cost me $10, then we went to get my hire car, which is just so cool here but I would not be caught dead in it back home, so parents don't go getting any ideas! Its an old Nissan Micra (although, it does have electronic side mirror adjusters which is better than my manual ones on the fiesta!) kind of creamy yellow gold. Its so funky, Carolyns paid me $60 plus a bit of petrol money to drive her about while shes here the next 2 days. Its also an automatic, thank god Carolyn was there when I got in the car cos I was like, wheres the gearstick?? How do I work this thing?? So that was a learning curve! Its dead easy, although I much prefer manuals, I like changing gears. So we went for a drive around the island, listening to radio cook islands with all the local South Pacific music blaring. Was lots of fun. We stopped at a really nice cafe at Muri beach (which btw is paradise, its a huge lagoon like a swimming pool with another big green treey island opposite) and had paninis. Then stopped further up and watched the waves, which break off the coral (I think I've said this before) but they're masssssive there. Huge waves! So then we made our way back round (theres only two roads which go around the island, one slightly inland and one on the coast, so not much opportunity for getting lost) and picked up some shopping at the supermarket, so I've finally got some proper munch in the form of pasta, tuna, lettuce, sweetcorn, peppers, bread, fruit etc... Then we went and lazed by the pool for a couple hours in the sun and now I'm here. We've. got Pride and Prejudice out to watch tonight and some popcorn.

So all in all feeling a lot better about being here, and hopefully once Carolyn goes someone else will arrive. But I still plan to cut short the trip here, just because I will eventually get bored. And if I leave earlier I save money and can buy a black pearl. Hahahaha.

Much love to all,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 11:38 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (0)

the flowers

overcast

I feel so SHIT right now. I can't find my phone, and I don't know whether thats because I left it somewhere in my tiredness or because someones nabbed it or whatever but its really annoying and upsetting and making me feel even more isolated.

Anyway. Said bye to Fee on Saturday which sucked cos we had lots of fun and now I'm on my tod again. She headed off to Penn Station and I got the bus to JFK, where there was this couple and the guy was whisking his girlfriend away for the weekend as a surprise and she didn't know where they were going, all very sweet. Then I got the interrail to some other bit of JFK, then a shuttle to Days Inn. Days Inn was so lovely, I had my own bathroom and it was so clean and the shower was so hot and it was all lovely. Then I ordered pizza and sat and watched King of Queens and Hitch on my big TV while in bed. Fantastic. I think guys should watch Hitch, they could learn some very valuble leasons... The view out of my window was rather amusing (even if just to me and Fee) it was of hundreds of yellow school buses, must have been a depo. So anyway breaky the next day was fab too and then I headed to the airport and immediatly got a headache, I guess this must be some kind of reaction to airport cos it happens every time. Got my flight to L.A and began the 24 hour trip to the Cooks. Yknow something I noticed in N.Y and L.A airports, in N.Y there were annoucements not to accept taxi offers from unregistered companies all the time, and in L.A it changed to don't accept help from soliciters because they'e not sponsered by the airport. I'm nto sure why soliciters are hanging out in LAX but obviously there are too many of them. I met a girl while queing (the first of 3 very long ques, after my 7 hour flight across the US) and she said I was very brave and that she wouldn't be able to do it. Quite a lot of people have said that. They're probably right, I think I'm a bit stupid doing this on my own because it is a mega challenge. At the mo all I want to do is go home. I'm scheming... Anyway, then after waiting ages in LAX all over the shop, we boarded the 10 hour flight to the Cooks. Where I met a really nice girl who had studied law at Birmingham and was with 3 friends (although they were all seated elsewhere) travelling around the world on nearly the same ticket as me. So we had quite a long chat which was nice and I've got her email and number because they're staying over at Muri beach. They're only here for 5 days though. Anyway when not talking we slept so I had a reasonable sleep on the plane. Arrived at 7.30am Cook Island time today so I reaallllllly want to sleep but trying not to. Stepped outside and there was thunder and lightening and it started chucking it dwon with rain. I've not seem rain like it! Its cleared now though. I've met an Ozzie guy and his girlfriend who are staying here, hes really nice, although when he saw me with a Scotland rugby shirt on he said, 'eugh take that rag off', obviously not a fan... Haha, hes funny though, I'm now called Scotty or Scotland. He said I was a tough Scottish chick, I haven't broken it to him yet that technically I'm english, might keep that one quiet... They're both leaving tomorrow I think anyway. So anyway we all got a lift into 'town' with the owner/manager/employee of the hostel and I went and enquired about hiring mopeds or cars and then bought a beach towel and walked back. I think I'm gona hire a car because I don't trust myself on a moped, and cars are nicer. Even though they are twice as much. I think I'm gona cut short my trip and rearrange everything and just spend my hard earned cash in a more luxurious way (only slightly) than otherwise. I do feel really quite isolated and alone, and because most people are travelling with friends or partners its quite hard to tag on.

Anyway I need to have another look for my phone, although I have just about tipped everything out of my bag already. I'm so annoyed. I think I may have a nap too because I'm getting sleepy. Its 11.50pm at home right now! 1.50pm over here.
Anyway much love,
xxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S (I can split my internet time here so I'm on a bit later on) everyones gone out to bars, they asked me to go but I'm sooo knackered so just gona go to bed after this, but I've checked the whole of my bag and can't find my phone, I'm gona look in the van to see if I dropped it in there... so gutted. Its really quite dark in the living room where I'm sitting, quite scared! And a lizard on the wall just made a squeeling noise... god, don't know how much of this I can take!
I also just reread my last comment, I said amazing way too many times there, I do apologise.

Posted by lil0liz 15:33 Archived in Cook Islands Comments (3)

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