Thursday 11 October 2012

And stirred

This is more like it! Rarotonga can be classically lovely, but it wasn’t while we were there, purely because of the wind that kept things cool (in tropical terms); but now we’re on Aitutaki, just a 45 minute flight away, and I’m having to mop the drips of sweat off my keyboard with my sarong, under which I’m wearing nothing because, you know, tropics!

It helps too that the Pacific Resort here is in another realm entirely from the one on Rarotonga: in a nutshell, there it was families, here it’s honeymooners. We’re in a separate villa with steps down to our own bit of beach complete with loungers, if the ones on the deck won’t suffice. Inside it’s polished wood floors and woven tapa ceiling, the shower is all glass looking onto a walled ferny garden, where there’s another outside shower (plus there’s one at the bottom of the steps). It’s all Bulgari and bidet, need I say more? The personal welcome from the manager, the fruit bowl and bottle of bubbles, and the cock(t)ail of the day being the Wade (vodka, passion fruit liqueur, syrup and fruit juice) all gave us extra-positive vibes, as they were meant to. We’ve settled in very nicely, spending the afternoon by the glorious infinity pool just up from the beach. The most work I’ve done all day is to pluck a hibiscus flower out of the pool. It's regrettable that there's only one couple I've spotted so far who are suitably BP (beautiful people) the rest of us being stout German Hausfraus, Julia Gillard sound-alike Aussies and me with my sunburn pink shin-high socks and elbow-length gloves; but you can't have it all, I guess.

Though I was seated over the wing again, sigh, there was still a decent view of the lagoon, which I would be happy to fight anyone to defend my claim that it’s the world’s most beautiful: big, bright turquoise against the deep blue outside the white-foaming reef, set about with green islands and swirls of creamy sand… perfect. What makes it even nicer being here is that last time we were only a couple of weeks after Cyclone Pat had ripped through in 2010, and the place was frankly stripped and battered – coconut palms like chimney brushes, not a skerrick of green on them, corrugated iron wrapped around tree trunks, houses collapsed, debris everywhere. Now it’s green, lush and beautiful again, and tomorrow we’ll be out on the lagoon on a day cruise, heading for One Foot Island for lunch, which we missed out on last time.

It’s not totally idyllic, you’ll be pleased to hear. There are ants and mozzies and – well, ants and mozzies. Does that make you feel better?

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