Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of Cook Islands  ,
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stepping out of the door I had barely walked a few steps when a passing guy on a moped stops offering a lift. Asking where I was going, into town I replied, I was told I was already in it. Oh.

The guy was called Banbana, like a banana he said having been born here but now living in Auckland coming back here to visit occasionally.

He then asks "You tried the mangos yet?". "Not yet" I said, "Let's go get some." So he drives off down the road stopping to check some growing outside a house. "We need a stick to get at them". So we drive off again stopping at another house grabbing a big 15ft pole with a bag attached to one end. Banbana then starts hooking some mangos off a tree with the pole while nabbing a few bananas off another tree in the process. "Right, back to the first place, you carry the pole." Dude that moped is about 3 feet long and this pole ain't!

We the drove back to the first mango tree spot with me holding onto this pole, the end of it dragging along the road splintering behind us. While collecting more mangos I had to ask "Err, who owns these fruit?". "The land, you want some just go help yourself." Amazed at this free shopping he than asks "You like papaya?". So off we go again to a field full of papaya trees already carrying a full bag of fruit. Nabbing three big 'uns with the bag now near bursting he takes me back to Tom's to drop them off before taking me into 'town'.

Another detour first to show me his home here sitting on top of a hill with a million dollar view over the island. Being so sorry that he had no coconut juice to offer me he then takes me back into town.

Thanking him he says: "Not much in this world is free, especially women."

What the heck was I doing again?

The town was just couple of buildings at a crossroads including a bank and post office with a small church further up the street. So not taking long to look around I walked back to Tom's for lunch, fruit was certainly on the menu.

Out for another walk towards the south of the island it seemed hard to walk here being given another lift further down the road. Despite the islands diminutive size a lot of people were cursing around on their mopeds at around 20 k/ph acting real cool giving a slight nod of the head on passing or a wazzup! as if in a Budweiser ad. Swung by a set of Marae stones which were sacred old meeting places consisting of a cleared area with some standing stones before walking back passing a group sitting on chairs in the water. Suppose it is a hot and humid day.

A cricket game late in the afternoon seemed to have attracted half the island along to watch. Guess the other half were playing.
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