Chapter 4: I become very lazy.
Trip Start Oct 01, 2003
56Trip End Nov 2004
Suffice to say that around 1am on the first night, as I finished my umpteenth glass of rum & something during my 8th drinking game of the evening with a bunch of swell new friends, I realized I'd get on quite well with hostel living. Yes - I've now officially entered a segment of my trip that will make some friends insanely jealous, and make others roll their eyes
Muri Beach is incredible. The lagoon is seldom more than waist deep, and you can wade out to a few beautiful tropical islands for some private beach time under swaying palms. The only catch is that it's mating season for the triggerfish, so they're territorial and MEAN right now. There's a kind of funny paranoia going around as a result. I've only had one encounter so far, when a colorful 8-inch specimen came charging at me; a kick in its direction sent it scurrying, so I'm thinking the fear may be exaggerated. Supposedly a few people have battle scars on their legs, though, so I'll keep watching out.
Yesterday I went snorkelling a few km down the road and was treated to some incredible fish. I think I'll return tomorrow with the camera and try to get some pics. Hundreds of colorful (and BIG!) fish were all around, swimming right up to us, probably hoping to get fed
Today it's cloudy so I decided to motivate and rent a bike for another round-the-island journey (it's only 30-some km). Stopped for lunch at a cafe and asked for a slice of smoked chicken pizza (the only other choice was ham). The pizza came, and the meat looked awfully red to be chicken, so I asked, and the woman told me very authoritatively that it was chicken but looked different because it's "smoked." Well, 12 years away from ham hasn't altered my memory of the taste, so oh well - check off one more type of animal that's blundered into my digestive system since I gave up the vegetarianism. I'm currently at an internet cafe in the cute town of Avarua (Raro's commercial center), and I maybe have 10km left to go on my circuit. The island on the whole seems more prosperous than French Polynesia, and I'm not sure if that's just an illusion, or if it's true because of the ties the Cooks have to New Zealand
By now you probably figured out that I scrapped my plans to fly to Aitutaki this week. It was a lot of money to fly there for just 2 days, most of the accommodations were sold out, and I'm having a blast on Raro, so I decided to relax instead and just spend the week here. On Friday night I'm moving on to Fiji for... well... more of the same, probably. Can't wait! Much love to everyone,