Sunday 7 October 2012

Kia orana!

That was a new experience. Arrived back in Auckland at 2pm, drove home to catch up with family, pets and the washing of smalls (but not, alas, sleep) and then next morning headed off back to the airport again to fly out to Rarotonga. Altogether too confusing for the old dog and old cats – and for what is increasingly feeling like an old brain and body. This must be how it is for the international jet-setting community of rock stars and heads of governments. And cabin crew.

So here I am in the Cook Islands again. Third time, hoping for better weather than the second visit’s post-cyclone cool grey skies, but not so far getting it although despite the strong wind there is more sunshine. Papa Jake Numanga was there at the airport again, strumming and singing away as he has done for so long now, meeting and farewelling every plane; and as we landed there were locals on motorscooters along the road beside the runway, waving at the plane before riding on again, small children sitting behind them tied on with a length of sarong, not a helmet in sight. And we were draped with tiare flower eis, so fragrant and such an intrinsic part of the tropical experience.

We’re at Pacific Resort on Muri Beach, right on the water with the beach a scant 10 metres from our ranchsliders, kite-surfers already busy on the lagoon, the reef and its constant border of white breakers well within sight. And sound: there was a woman on the bus in from the airport complaining about having to move on her previous visit because “it was too noisy where we were, with the breakers”. Well. To me that’s white noise, and soothingly soporific, and I’m glad to be able to hear it. Or not – I’m expecting it to waft me off to sleep, day as well as night. This here, it’s a holiday.

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