Saturday, August 18, 2018

Chemtrails not working in Raratonga

Saturday, August 18, 2018 0

oldbearnews editor

Day 8 - leaving day!

 Got on with things in good time (breakkie etc) and had unit empty by 9am - dropped bags at reception and took car into 'town' for the Saturday Market!  Same as in Riccarton - lots of clothing and jewellery - and lots of various foods! Market starts at 8 am and goes till lunch time so easily could provide breakfast and lunch.  Bought some stuff for the boys!
Also saw this schooner out in the open sea - yet no one seemed to know anything about it - and it must have sailed right past it - did not enter the harbor - weird!!
Then tanked the car and gave it back to the rental folks - then had lunch at the diary (on the beach) and then walked to the Lagoon Breeze Villas for our pick up - more waiting.  Bus arrived EARLY and we got dropped of at the Airport - only one counter operating at times and slow checking in - all manual!!! Eventually - more waiting - plane late boarding and slight detour - arrived in Auckland - night time - and had to rush to get through customs etc - turn around so tight - did not make the connecting flight to Chch and got bumped to the next flight - still had to run even then to catch that.
Michael picked us up and after some prelim unpacking fell into bed at 11pm.  NO ROOSTERS at night time!!!!!!   Yussss

This little dude made himself at home under one of my shoes - which we always left outside our unit (no point in dragging in the sand) so had to be careful lifting and putting on our footwear! 
 The local group doing a fundraiser and a demo.  Like most natives in many countries they try and keep old traditions going!  It was more fun listening to the Dude who made the introductions - he had a knack of weaseling out your $$$$ from you in a funny humorous and yet challenging way!

 There is an art to beat the drums not to mention the wiggling of your hips!
 Some of the many stalls - anything from fresh fruit and veggies to lots of cloths etc . . . .
 Some stalls are more permanent structures and can be open from time to time during the rest of the week - depending on how the owner feels about it on any given day . . . .

I got the impression that more money changed hands on that morning then during the rest of the week!  If you go hungry or empty - your look out!!!

Impressions from our trip:
  • More chickens then local people but still no KFC! 
  • All chicken are wandering free - and been kept in check by cats / dogs wandering free!  
  • There must be native birds around- have not seen any though (in fact the only TWO feathered birds we saw were the chickens (if you can call them a bird) and the "Myna" which is a native of India.
  • Lots of ants / chucks / sun!   
  • There is not always Blue Sky! 
  • NOT a single Seagull's has been seen at all!!!!   
  • Shops / and indeed most of the island are closed on Sundays! 
  • People friendly and always on Island time! 
  • POT-holes!!  50 km speed restrictions necessary or you "bounce out" of the road!  
  • Beaches publicly  accessible only in a few places! 
  • There is a 2.8% net emigration  (meaning the population decreases over time with Births not keeping up with Deaths and people leaving the island to seek fame and fortune)!  That shows in some of the family plots / sections with half built houses or existing houses falling into very bad repair.  Complicating the matter is the notion that only native Cook Islanders can 'own' land!   Population sits at 12 000 as of 2011 Census - with approx 60 000 being overseas . . . (imagine if they all want to come back to the Island!!!)
  • Tourism is a big earner - annually there are 200 000 folks visiting - that brings its own complications (Water and Electricity are a scarce commodity) 
  • Have seen more solar panels in Raratonga then in all of New Zealand 
  •  Almost EVERYTHING has to be imported - making some things expensive
  • Family/tribal affiliations are still ingrained (shows in that the burial of your family members is your task - there seems to be  no "central" Cemetery - lots of raised graves on the family land!)

Is it happy hour yet??? 

Hmmmm we have to save our pennies for a trip to Europe in 2019 - then after that we could go back there- maybe in the rainy season?!?!?!?!?!

Have fun! bear print

Friday, August 17, 2018

Chemtrails not working in Raratonga

Friday, August 17, 2018 0
oldbearnews editor

Day 7

Usual breakfast - Mamabear catching up on news via local paper- informative especially if paying attention to the growing Chinese influence in the Pacific! Eventually back to unit for clean up etc and then took car into town for souvenir supplies - having accidentally opened one of the gifts (moisturizer) which I used on my skin!

Then leisurely  drive round the island - again - and stopped at the place where the 7 canoes set of, to sail and to find NZ! - Back home for lunch and now just leisure time - or should that be pacific island time - or early happy hour?

Rugby on overnight (1AM Cook Island time) so will get the result in the AM tomorrow!  Go the Ab's!!!!

He came - wagged his tail - and flopped - and stayed until we got up and left! Nice Doggy! 

                          Just need a glass of bubbly  - almost serene!! 

We got up to some shenanigans - well - we drunk some anyhow! naturally Mamabear had to try it - purple and all!!! 

It is meant to be a layered drink - all I remember - it was alcoholic and very nice/

Everyday we made a beach - scene arrangement - much to the amusement of the bar-staff!!  It helped the other day with some of the other guests offering us their mini-umbrellas . . . .

Last night here - sighs!!!!

Have fun! bear print

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Chemtrails not working in Raratonga

Thursday, August 16, 2018 0
oldbearnews editor

Day 6

The usual breakfast - almost. 
A new crowd arrived the previous day so it was rather full to start with.  Thus Rachael and Logan - the young couple next to us-  felt comfy enough to ask if they could share our table with us for breakfast! One certainly makes new friends when going to the Lagoon Breeze!  After that we bought more data for our internet use (just so I can find out the rugby result (NZ vs Aus) - followed by the usual getting ready for the day and then off to town for information and a hike up one of the trails / walks.
To hot and muggy and almost all tracks closed due to poor maintenance and mud! So headed home via some souvenir shops and had early-ish lunch - then grabbed the last kayak from reception and headed for the local beach where 
mamabear in a suitable oversized live jacket went for a paddle - up and down the coast and out towards the reef - seeing lots of various fish and some very blue starfish! She was very pleased with herself - having stayed in the boat and not getting an early bath!!!!  Way to go old girl!!   I had some time on the water too. 

Back to unit eventually and a cool dip in the pool and back to catch up on news and pics and rest - before heading out to the Market at Muri for dinner!  Looks like we might see some rain (again) - it has been building grey in grey all day long!
Market at Muri is similar to Chch Riccarton Market - except less or virtually no craft stalls - food stalls plenty though - had pancake with Nutella/Banana and Bailyes Cream for afters -- yumm yumm! 

Back home and turned on the overhead heli for some fresh air in our unit - and found paper-slip with thanks and email address from Rachael and Logan - nice surprise!!!  Must send them the promised pic' and perhaps the link to the blog?! 

Was woken again at 1 am with these damn roosters making some more noise!!! Yesterday night they had a Mexican wave going - the wave going past our place.  You could hear a far away rooster doing his cluck cluck and then the rest down the chain followed suit - the noise going past our place and dissapearing of to the left . . . . . .

Also had a very clucky (egg-laying?) chuck right outside our window at 5am!!  (Turns out that a local stray cat had her last chick for her breakfast - so yeah understandably the local hen was upset)   Given that they chucks run freely and are everywhere it is surprising that KFC has not come here for business!!  At least I can now fluently speak 'chicken'!  New Chuck whisperer????  Mamabear amused by my newly gained skill!!  Also are frequently reminded of the old story in our family where my brother (all of 4 or 5 years old) once said that they must be American chickens - as they keep calling " Coca-Colaaaaaaaaaaa"  -- very funny!!

 Just to prove it - Mamabear eating what is essentially a Chinese dish - fried noodles with Pork!!  Must be a day for Firsts!!!

 Not to be out-done on the Dessert front - Mama-bear ordered a rather large and rich Banana/Caramel Cheesecake!!  The bakery certainly had the longest ques!!

Found this and thought of a certain young chap who might appreciate a new toy!?!?!?!?!
 Of course mama-bear was drawn to the baker stand for dessert - apart from the sweet stuff- it was decked out in Purple - 'nugh said!

 Not much of a sunset though- so we did the salute thing and then headed back - raindrops were beginning to fall.  Again - the 0800sunnytourist thing would have been of no help at all . . . .

 The table-top in our unit - as is a lot of things there - woven from local palm-tree leaves (and it had a glass top to protect it)
Lol - it is so warm here year round,  that the shops sell their chocolate from inside fridges (to keep them from melting)   I had my supply of Bounty Bars and had those in the fridge too!! - only - once you open it - they gain condensation.
So you had a choice - wait for it to dry of - or eat quickly! :)

Night all

Have fun! bear print

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Chemtrails not working in Raratonga

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 0
oldbearnews editor

Day 5

<-----One of the Locals - just hanging about! :) 

The day started well enough.  We went to breakfast as usual and - I could possibly have it let slip to the staff - totally accidental of course -  that a certain female bear has her Birthday today! 'Wink wink nudge nudge'.  So it was a surprise to her that a public announcement was made and all the guests and staff sung yet another rendition of "Happy Birthday"!  Mamabear then informs me that this is enough (of a 'remembering' and 46 hours of celebrations) to wipe "that incident" from Paris from the collective memory of the Muller tribe!  Time to let it go! 

From there we decided to hire a car after all.  Eventually got that picked up at lunchtime (Island time again) and we headed straight away to the "Public Gardens".   The "Gardens" as such are still on private land - as is all land in a local Cook Islander hands (and it can never be sold to an "outsider".)  They certainly have done a lot of plantings since they had the land. The other attraction of course was that they also had a cafe (who doesn't there at the moment?!) and so we had lunch first before strolling through the plantings.  A new fruit was on my salad plate and we had a taste - it was very bitter.  We asked what it was and surprise surprise - it was the baby-coconut-palm-tree!  The fruit - once it falls to the ground does re-seed it self and as such "eats itself" for the new growth and taking root.  Ha - that was a first - eating a baby-fruit!
The Gardens itself are an interesting set-up - or should that be lay-out?!  They had a folder on the table that showed all the flowers via pics they have taken over the years.  Still - we are there at what is essentially winter time so very little of the flowers showed!  We did however see lots of different palm trees!

A couple of ponds with various fish in it and of course some Lilies!!  Had to snap a pic and show a friend of mine!!!

From there it was on towards the "Te Ara Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise".  Very informative and the Missionaries certainly have a lot of explaining to do!  Interesting that the national flag changed colors 4 times at least - this sample being the previous one! New Zealand could learn from that!!  Anyway - just saying - the place was a ton of information and mamabear learnt that the early sailors could tell where an Island 'might be' in the Pacific by dipping their hands in the ocean and working out the changes in current (that the land mass would create ) - a knowledge that was very specific to only one person (and could not be passed on as such) - with very sensitive skin on his hands!! 

So no GPS and they still can sail around 3000km (in 800BC no less) and find the land they are looking for - no mean feat!! The other thing we learned was (thanks to Mr Google and the staff who did not know either but wanted to find out ) what the "FOTS2" meant on the local map we were carrying.  Seems it is - drumm roll please - 'ratatatatatata'  Fibre-Optic-Transmission-Service - with the number indication its location - they had 9 in total.  Presumably it is a little cabinet from which the locals get their (internet) fiber service. 

From there - on towards the main town!  We can now claim to have been once around the whole island.  We stopped for groceries and some other "liquid" supplies and  then drove back home for a home cooked meal. Very nice pasta dish!! yummm!   Before that, we caught up with the young couple next door and eventually after some friendly chat, we all ended up on beach for nice sunset and celebratory drinks. (We had to explain our 'tradition' to them! )  They probably think we are nuts - so what - who cares?!?!?!?!   Post dinner we sat outside chatting and slurping till late ! Very relaxing!!

Mamabear bringing to an end her 46 Hours of Birthday celebrations with a nice hug!  :) 

 Have fun! bear print

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Chemtrails not working in Raratonga

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 0
oldbearnews editor

Day 4

The day started with a dribble of rain - great! That kept the roosters at bay - so they crowed at 6 am instead the usual 4am!  By the time we went for breakfast it cleared however and the day promised to be - as Augie Auer used to say - a "BLUE-DOME day! 
 We had booked ourselves into the Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise (with a glass bottom boat) and were expecting a pick up from the gate!  Looking east (post school run) and - yes it was an empty road - for once!  Must be rubbish day too!!

 Eventually got there - saw the sign post that seems to crop up everywhere.  Christchurch is xxxx km urm - wait readjusts the compass - yeah - that way!!! After a short head count that is or was so typical scouting - (you know - it starts with one and next person says two and third person says three and fourth person stuffs it up so we start again . . . ) we were on our way!!
 I can vouch for the color - it is what it is - deep rich blue and the water is so clear - you can see down to the sea floor - 2 - 3 meters!  Naturally that means you can see everything - fish included!
 There are a total of 3 boats going out every day! That's about 130 people! At $79 each - hmmmm wait - uses toes as well - urm yeah literally a boat load of Cash per day!   :)   Still - you get to cruise on the glass bottom boat to the marine reserve for some awesome snorkeling with giant clams and tropical fish in the crystal clear waters of the lagoon.  Or a perfect way to explore or view the marine life through the glass bottom of the boat without actually having to get wet! An Awesome day out with a fabulous fresh fish open fire BBQ lunch, coconut tree climbing and coconut husking show,  pareu tying demonstration and the sounds of the NSA string-band on Motu Koromiri. Ah you get the sales pitch - right?!

 The Food was tremendous! Fried Banana with sauteed onions and everyone got a fish-steak! Along with bread and 3 salads and some fresh fruit.
The Coconut husking/peeling demo was fun to watch and informative - oh and the urm pareu tying demo was kinda R18 - at times, perfectly innocent! Lots of laughter.
 On the way back they asked who is from where and eventually lastly - who has a birthday! So I made Mamabear put up her hand and she was lucky - one other person - so the whole boat sung to them "Happy Birthday" - she told me afterward it was a bit embarrassing! :P :)  Ha - little did she know what else was to come - hmm later! With regards to her Birthday - she had two wonderful days of 'birthdays' in Rarotonga! All of 46 hours!!!!!  Because it is on the other side of the international date line it was actually her birthday in NZ one day and then Rarotonga the next day!

One of the attraction for many is the snorkeling thing or should that be floating among the hungry fish?!?!?!  I flagged it, as without glasses I am half blind and with glasses my water-mask always fills up - so hmmm may have to get inventive if I want to take it up more seriously!
 Looking back to the main Island and Nuri - which seems to develop into its own little Tourist hub!
 The beach round the reef is pretty much the same - it looks sandy and in some ways it is - it is just very coarse or grainy. We did  not see many sea-shells lying around so figured it was more like smashed up parts of the old reef!!
 The only turtle we saw! We also missed the big eel - - - apparently it is  an ugly looking beast!
 Being one of her birthdays we decided to take it easy and chilled out in the sun in the late afternoon - then walked to Coco-put next door! A short stroll of no more then a few hundred meters - practically a next door section!  A good game of mini-golf was been had - we will not divulge the final score - suffice to say Mamabear lost - as expected!  Did have a few giggles though!  The meal was great and good choice and - yes - they also did Garlic bread (which I must rate and blog and so forth . . . .  .) 
Theoretically you can do the night Golf - under lights - as the place is open till late (which just means they close whenever they feel like)  and the sun does set by 6.25pm!


PS - as mentioned before - no '0800sunnytourist'  program was engaged - so this is all natural perfectly normal sun-shine! yusssss

Have fun! bear print
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