Monday 8 October 2012


In the short interludes today when I was actually awake and not carked unconscious on a lounger getting stupidly sunburnt, it occurred to me that the Cook Islands are New Zealand’s tropical extension. It feels so familiar here: they use our money, the accent’s the same (there are far more Cook Islanders in NZ than here - 80%), there’s TVOne news and Shortland Street on TV, and they play our music here too. The people are friendlier, gentler and more religious than at home, but otherwise it’s Cable Bay with coconuts and chickens. Just the same.

The wind has blown strongly all day and the lagoon’s been busy with little P-class dinghies scudding about in groups, looking as though they were being herded by the half-dozen kite-surfers skimming back and forth, catching air on the turns: looks fantastic, but also very strenuous, legs, abs, shoulders… Probably not something I’ll be trying. The greatest drama of the day was when a coconut with attached frond plummeted out of a tree and splashed into the pond next to where we were sitting eating breakfast, to the shock and horror of the fish and mynahs. We were a bit horrified too – but we’re assured that the trees beneath which anyone is likely to walk are all kept trimmed of their nuts.

Otherwise it’s been a quiet day of sleeping, eating, observing passing dogs, the eternal and deadly-serious chicken vs mynah feud, the Kids’ Club keeping busy, and thinking that possibly tomorrow we might venture further from our room than the 100m radius that’s contained us so far…

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