Friday, June 29, 2007
What is Zombie Prom - you may ask? Well it's an excuse to dress up as Zombies and head to happy for a few drinks and see a few bands.
I am very excited about the Prom and already thinking of what costume I can come up with for the evening...humm....I think I may be in for a round of second hand shopping this weekend to find a dress I can cut up and splatter in blood for the big night.
Also trying to find a few fellow zombie's to go with, although few of my friends share the zombie obsession I have (I don't know why - what's not to love about zombie's!) plus a few people are away or busy next weekend...
Nevermind - if nothing else Rich and I will have an awesome zombie night out.
Here's the website with details of the Prom and photos from last year
Thursday, June 28, 2007
But last week I texted the nice folks who are running the Aro Valley markets and managed to secure us a table! Woohoo!
The markets are on the 7th July and we don't have a whole heap of stock (we do have a bit of stuff left over from Triangle when it closed though) so I think this weekend and next week will have to be spend making a whole bunch of fimo's. But nevermind - with this weather it's not like I want to go outside at the moment anyways.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Last night Rich and I went and had a coffee with Mella after work as this week is her last week in Wellington before she heads back home to Hamilton.
It's been really cool having Mella here and it will be sad to see her leave but I know she's looking forward to returning home to Hamilton (I hope the weather is a bit better up there for her) and getting back to her old job where she sees "real people".
Plus it does give me another reason to get myself sorted and head up north for the weekend to see some of my friends up there!
But I hope you had a lovely day and I will be there for the more formal celebrations on Saturday!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I've been home sick with some sort of bug since last Thursday - I did make an attempt to go to work on Tuesday but I had to come home at lunch because I felt so bad.
Rich caught my bug too - but he only had one day off sick whereas I've had a whole week off now and I have spent a whole bunch of money on the doctors.
Hopefully the second course of antibiotics will clear up this bug.
I have to say I am feeling quite bummed as I had heaps of plans last weekend and this week and I haven't been able to do anything - fingers crossed I am ok for Sam's 21st lunch and Simon's 30th birthday party this weekend!! I really want to go to both of these before I forget entirely what my friends look like.
Well that's enough complaining for now - hopefully I will start to feel a wee bit better tomorrow!
Monday, June 18, 2007
By this stage it was SO SO HOT - I was glad it had been overcast weather most of the time we had been in Rarotonga - I didn't think I could have handled cycling around the Island in this sort of heat! But it did give me a chance to take a few final photos.
After the markets I walked back into town and went to "Perfumes of Rarotonga" and bought myself a present - some Frangapini perfume and soap. I then waited in an air conditioned cafe for Rich to return from golf! When he arrived back he was REALLY hot - I think if the weather had been like this for our whole trip we would have spent all of our time at the beach cooling off.
We had one final look around Avarua and Rich finally bought his ukulele and we also bought some liqueur in a Tangiroa (Cook Island God) shaped bottle and headed back to our motel to wait for our transfer to the airport.
Rarotonga Rocks - everyone should really visit:)
After all of our sea kayaking and snorkeling we were VERY hungry and found a very cute cafe at Muri Village called "Deli-licious" it was a really cute cafe with a really "trendy" vibe. This cafe would not have been out of place in Cuba Street!
After lunch we returned back into town, by the time we got to the markets it was about 3pm - we saw the same lady again when we arrived and she called out to us and told a few things happened at the markets at about 12 but most people had gone home already! I decided to buy one of her beautiful shell necklaces - so I bought something from the markets that day.
After we left the markets we decided to have a look through the tourist shops to see if we could find Rich's ukulele at a reasonable price - but the cheapest tourist shop still cost a good $20 more than the markets.
We finally headed back to the motel to hang out for a bit before heading to "Trader Jacks" at 7 for dinner. Trader Jacks came across as being a bit of an Rarotongan Icon - but to be honest - I didn't really like it that much. The meals were nice enough but it was one of those places where you felt like you couldn't really relax as they were trying to get as many people through the doors of the restaurant in one night as possible. It felt like they were trying to take your plate away before you really had a chance to finish you meal - which was disappointing. There are much nicer places to eat in Rarotonga than this.
When we finally got home we were exhausted from kayaking, snorkeling and walking but decided we better pack up a bit as the unit looked like a bit of a bombsite and we were leaving tomorrow!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Our guide was really fantastic and showed us a lot of different tropical plants which was really interesting. One of the plants she showed us was the "Starfruit" - I'd had a starfruit in a cocktail earlier in the week but I had just eaten one, they are really delicious. Our guide picked a whole lot of starfruit for us a even weaved a basket for us to take them home in.
She also explained the main differences between a marae in New Zealand and a marae in the Cook Islands (in the Cook Islands you would never sleep on a marae).
When we returned back to the building where we began our toue we found the most beautiful and huge lunch waiting for us - finally some Cook Island food! We had some potato salad, taro, paw paw salad, beautiful fish and a tropical fruit platter for dessert - it was delicious!
We ate our lunch whilst overlooking the view from Highland Paradise which was incredible.
After lunch Tutu gave us a lift back to our motel and some more insight into Island life.
When we returned to the motel we decided it was time to chill-lax for a while. Tutu had sent us home with a whole lot of leftovers from our lunch so we decided that we should buy some fresh fish to eat with all our salads.
This was a much bigger task than we thought as it seems that in the Cook Islands the supermarkets don't sell fish! So we walked and walked and walked and finally found a fish shop - but it was worth it - fresh fish in Rarotonga is SO cheap. We bought to huge fillets of albacore tuna for $3.50!
By the time we returned to the motel it was nearly time to cook dinner. We bought an onion on the way home and Rich cooked the fish beautifully.
We decided to spend the rest of the night just hanging about the motel - but I would recommend Highland Paradise to anyone going to Rarotonga.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Once escaping the mosquito's and getting back on the main road again we cycled for a while before reaching "Fruits of Rarotonga" - this has to be my favourite food place in Rarotonga! It's a simple roadside stand that serves morning/afternoon tea (Rich and I had fruit smoothies and muffins), sells jam and chutney and also rents snorkeling gear - because it is across the road from the best snorkeling spot in Rarotonga.
After finishing our muffins and smoothies we hired some snorkeling gear and went to check out the sea life. I really liked snorkeling at Muri beach but snorkeling here was even better - we had whole schools of fish swimming around us, plus we saw a blue starfish and even more types of fish. After finishing up snorkeling we got all dried and headed back on the road again.
At the site there was a kind of memorial and each waka was represented by a stone and a plaque. Some people had left coins on some of the plaques, I'm not really sure why, maybe to give the people of that waka good luck? After checking out the sites and taking some photo's we were back on our bikes again.
One thing I have noticed whilst in Rarotonga is that there are a huge number of churches, Rich and I decided to stop at one of these churches and take a few photo's. Just because it was an interesting building.
When we arrived home decided to have a bit of a rest - all that cycling and snorkeling does make you a bit tired.
We decided we wanted to have something nice to eat for dinner - but it was Queen's birthday Monday in Rarotonga as well and there was not a lot open.
We ended up at an Indian place called Raviz. The food was nice but I couldn't help thinking that since we had been in Rarotonga we had eaten Italian, Chinese and Indian but no Cook Island food.
Because we finally had a clear night we decided that we would spend some time on the deck of the motel star gazing - which was very cool as all the stars in the sky were so bright and you could see Venus clearly - so beautiful!
Monday, June 11, 2007
I knew that Cook Islanders were quite religious people but I didn't realise just how dead Avarua would be on Sunday - pretty much nothing was open and there was nobody around. We strolled along for a bit until we found the "Blue Note Cafe" open, so we decided to have an early lunch there, the adjoining shop which sold souvenirs was open so I picked up a whole bunch of postcards and a mug for my Dad. When we were eating the rain stopped but when we got up to leave it started again! We made it back to the motel just before it got too heavy.
Finally at 3pm cabin fever got to us, it had been raining for the last few hours on and off but we both knew if we didn't get out and do something we would go crazy. So we packed our bags and some rain jackets and grabbed our bikes to go for a bike ride - it was so great to get out of the unit!
We didn't really have any particular destination to go to but Rarotonga is so small you don't really need to bike far before finding something interesting. Before long we arrived at "Black Rock".
Black Rock is, as the name suggests a black rock but it's absolutely huge and really quite an amazing site. There is a legend about black rock that says when a famous missionary arrived in Rarotonga his ship was moored near Black Rock and he walked to shore clutching his bible above his head - apparently the 'true' story is he got a smaller boat to shore.
When standing near black rock we noticed a beach further along down the cliff so decided to bike a bit further along and check it out. We found this really cool shoreline with lots and lots of rock pools - so we went to check them out, they were so full of life! So many little fish and crabs.
Unfortunately whilst we were down at the beach the rain came back in a BIG way so we decided we really had to go back to the motel. On the way home we decided to stop at a dairy. We didn't like our chances of finding a restaurant or cafe on Sunday night given what had happened at lunch so we decided to buy a can of spaghetti for tea - hey it's not glamorous but it filled the gap.
That evening we also tried some of the food we bought at the markets. The sweet corn we bought was so good, the guava was interesting - the flavour grew on me the more of it I ate. The banana pudding was NOT GOOD! I know - how can pudding be bad? But it was heavy and creamy - kinda had the texture of a big lump of gelatin and was way too sweet for me.
After our food adventures decided just to hang out at the unit (it's not like we had much choice - not a lot else was happening in Avarua) and read, sketch, write postcards and hope for a clear day tomorrow - as by this stage it was bucketing down!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
This morning we decided to go to Punanga Nui Markets as it was their fresh food and produce morning - these markets are quite big and seem to be a real centre for the community. There was absolutely HEAPS of food there! We arrived at maybe 9:30am and people were already cooking big meals on BBQ's. Cook Islanders seem to eat lots of meat.
We bought some fruit - some banana's (which don't taste as sweet as the ones in NZ), some Guava and some passionfruit (which look very different to the way they do in NZ! They are much bigger and green rather than being black/purple and kinda shrivelled up looking). I also bought "Banana pudding in coconut cream" which came in a plastic container.
We saw lots of people at the markets buying something called "raw fish" - it came in little plastic containers and looked like coleslaw. I was not game enough to try anything called "raw fish" it just sounds bad!
The markets were very cool and I'm really looking forward to going back on Wednesday for the art and craft markets, it will be interesting to see if there are many different stalls. But if not that's ok as there were heaps of craft stalls today that I'm keen to take another look at and pick up some cool things.
After the markets we went and rented some bikes for our adventure out to Muri beach. I hadn't been on a bike for years so found it a little difficult to start with (the last time I was on a bike I would have been about 15!) but slowly got used to it. Because I wasn't that confident on the bike Rich thought it would be better to take the back roads. This was pretty cool as it wasn't focused on tourists like the main road on the Island, so it was good to see some 'real life' Rarotonga. I liked seeing the crops growing - especially the banana's!
When we finally arrived at Muri Beach it was stunning - the sun had finally come out and the water was so clear. Rich and I hired some snorkling gear - I'd never been snorkling before but it was pretty easy once you got used to breathing out of the snorkling tube (I'm sure there is a technical term for the tube). The guy that we rented the snorkling gear from told us to head to an island not far from shore as there was good snorkling to be had there.