Sunday, September 02, 2007

Terrapin Station

Counting stars by candlelight
All are dim but one is bright
The spiral light on Venus
Rising first and shining best
Oh, from the north-west corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Where crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and different tune
Terrapin Station
In the shadow of the moon
Terrapin Station

Things you should know about the Cook Islands:

In 1789, Captain Bligh arrived. So did the Bounty mutineers. We assume, not at the same time.

There are 15 islands, the largest and most visited is Rarotonga.

The most beautiful and strictly for the rich and famous, is Aitutaki.

In 2006, Survivor was filmed on Aitutake.

How tough could that have been?

The butler says we will go there some day. I am the lone mutineer.

The cheapest flights from NZ arrive at 3:30AM and depart at 4:40 AM.

Don't take the cheapest flights.

Drug sniffing dogs are not very alert at 3:30 AM

Then again, maybe good to take cheap flights.
At the airport, they can go right into your carry on and remove your toothpaste and deodorant. Since when does NOT having these things make travel safer? But it's OK as long as the containers are very small and everything is in a ziplock bag....???!!!
Who in the wide wide world of sports came up with this stupid shit?
Oh, I remember..
But it's all worth it as long as the dogs are sleepy.

Hotels on the island can be VERY expen$ive. Try the Moana Sands. Reasonable rates and best snorkeling. Turtles can be seen, but refuse to be ridden.

Also, you can toss bread from shore and hundreds of different fish will come to eat it... they are like pets.

Cook Islands are a great place for a birthday.

Somewhere in some attic, there is a portrait of a very old hag.

Best birthday cake -- coconut cashew pie. Guess who has the recipe?

You can get a raw coconut on the side of the road for a buck. They will even chop it in half with a machete.

Raw coconut isn't very tasty after the first few bites. Pet fish seem to like it.

Worst curb appeal idea -- family graves in the front yard.

Also they are above the ground like in New Orleans.

Easy to visit the ancestors, but very tough resale.

Extremely wise to rent a motorbike. Buses run rarely.

It takes 4 hrs in long lines to get mandatory motorbike license. At 16 bucks per, the police make thousands a day doing paperwork while the waiting tourists wives are forced to shop rather than hang around the station.

Very unwise to wreck the motorbike in a ditch. You are responsible for the broken fender and mirror to the tune of 350 clams!

That's how they get you.

Speaking of clams, there are high priced black pearls here in the tourist shops. They are out there for the snorkelers, but protected by the Govt.

Again, that's how they get you.

ATM withdrawal costs 7.50, but you don't find out until you get home and check online banking.

That's also how they get you.

Crumby 9 hole golf course -- leave your clubs home.

We got to see entire lunar eclipse at a reasonable hour. Plus there are so many stars to see on warm clear nights.

Rarotonga is packed with wild chickens and roosters who crow all day.

It can be windy and can also rain unexpectedly.

One TV channel shows weightlifting 24/ Kilograms.

Internet access is very slow and expensive.

Food at restaurants is expensive, but no tipping.

Kayaks are free and you think you will do it every day, but actually you do it only once.

There are mosquitos in the jungle, but they only seem to bite me. Note to self... bring high power DEET.

There is an ancient village where you can see the sacrifice rock. The chief would decide if someone broke a rule and needed to be killed on the rock. The chief got to drink the blood. No tipping.

Cook Islands are a wonderful hidden little secret paradise just 3 hrs flight from Nelson. I think we discovered all the pitfalls in a week.

See you in Aitutake, mate


At 4:14 AM, Anonymous robin said...

Very enlighting! I guess Aitutake is your next vacation since you are Nouvo Rich :):) Sounds like you saw it all and bought it all - awesome. We actually escaped the 'heat' for a few days up in the cabin where it was a lovely 82 degrees - no bugs, no water, no turtles but Safeway was cheap! love robin

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Head Monkey said...

Things you should know about Tucson:

It's still hot in September.

Machaca burritos are still plentiful...$2.60, no tipping.

Still no freeway.

It's a dry ass!

Rattlesnakes still around...6 bites yesterday, not counting the Mrs. America contestant that got bit last week and still competed.

You can get in lots of trouble on the side of the road in some parts of the city. They may even chop you in half with a machete.

Kayaks? What's a kayak?

Did I mention it's friggin' hot here?

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