Cook Islands Part 2

Trip Start Sep 14, 2008
Trip End Dec 20, 2008

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

We've come to the end of our week in the cook islands... just about in one piece!!
We went to another "island night" where we saw lots of traditional dancing- Annabel was somewhat in the way of the dancers as the stage was just in the middle of the restaurant and kept getting feathers flicked in her face as the women swung their hips! Matt offered to swap, but this was politely declined. Learnt all about the types of drums they use and about where to get the best black pearls! Sadly that information hasn't been widely employed by us this trip...  
Against advice and our better judgement, we went on the cross-island trek, which goes from Avarua in the north to Papua's waterfall on the south coast. This should have been an enjoyable and pleasant trek through the jungle. However, we decided to do it in monsoon-like conditions. It was all going well and we walked up to a peak called "the needle" where we could see the sea on both sides of the island. Going back downhill proved more problematic as by then the ground was sodden and wherever we put our feet on the extremely steep track, the ground simply gave way. Annabel opted mostly for the slide down on your bottom technique whereas Matt attempted to stay on his feet most of the time although sometimes unvoluntarily took the same route! At several points, Annabel cried and thought she was going to die and kept shouting "HELP!!" to an empty jungle. Anyway, we eventually made it back, rather soggy and muddy, but glad to have achieved it. The guide book says of this trek "Difficult track, guide recommended", yea, fair point.
We opted for some less dangerous activites for the last couple of days. We hired a moped again and went to the local market (Annabel's mum will be proud!) and saw a variety of local arts, crafts, and food on offer. Fortunately, the weather has been kind the past couple of days and been really sunny so we went to a good spot to see the local marine life. We were too stingy to spend $10 hiring a snorkel again but we could see plenty from the surface!! Huge fish, pipe-nose fish, some cool stripy fish, an angel fish, and we kept chasing around this blue flash but never quite saw it. This is all interspersed with some serious relaxing and letting our bodies recover from the ordeal that was the trek. This is our last day and we fly out to Auckland tomorrow morning (Monday), however after a 4 hour flight we arrive on Tuesday morning after crossing the international date line. We are there for a couple of  nights before we get on the "Stray" bus and begin our tour of New Zealand.
Sorry we haven't got any photos up yet but we can't get at this computer's USB ports. Don't worry- have taken plenty though and will upload when we get a chance. Love to all xxx
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