How do I explain this place? It’s almost impossible without any common frame of reference. But I will try, by breaking it into it’s most simple parts.
White sand rings the Island with views out to the blue green lagoon and the reef with the dark blue ocean in the distance separated by gentle breaking waves.
Crystal clear, perfect temperature not to warm not too cool. Shallow enough to walk almost anywhere in the lagoon, but swimmable too.
The Coral and Sea Life:
First, thing you notice in the sand are all the black sea slugs. They are and irrelevant as long as you wear beach shoes and they are responsible for making all the beautiful sand. This huge lagoon is filled with remarkable amounts of hard and soft coral, white, yellow, purple and violet. They are teaming with lots of little fish and a few big ones too. The colorful sea shell mollusks are scattered around and a buoy marks an extremely large one at lest a meter long. It would take days of just swimming to explore it all.
The Island Population
Very small, only less than 1000 residents and it doesn’t seem like that many. Every couple of days the small plane makes an exchange of about 30 travelers. People are very calm and accommodating.
There is a nice paved ring road and some paved crossed island roads, less than a dozen restaurants and a few lagoon tour, fishing and dive boats. The mode of transportation just like in Rarotonga is scooter.
Needless to say you feel that you are far away from most civilization.
There are two large, somewhat fancy places, but we are in a fantastic private bungalow with a sunset view right on the beach. The air conditioning is good the bathrooms and sheets are very nice and he covered front porch heaven. After having explored the others, we are glad we are here.
Sometimes strong. Sometimes non existent. You buy time in 15 minute increments at different and the speed and availability is dependent on the number of people trying to use it at the same time. During a good session we even got to video with Jasmine, David and James at bath time. He’s gotten so big and he’s such a good walker! He’s talking and even said Grandpa! We can’t wait to see him next week.
Very simple and contingent on when the last shipment came in. The menu isn’t really what is written. As you drive the island you find that they are struggling to grow some crops in small areas, but not very successfully except for the papayas and coconuts.
There are some birds, land crabs, but the only animals you see are wild chickens, roasters and small cats. Dogs were banned by someone on the Island early on and the ban stuck. Thankfully, there are no sand flies like in New Zealand, but there are little Mosquitos especially at dusk. These are mostly a nuisance for Jim, but controlled by OFF.
Quiet. The surf in the distance on the coral reef. Roosters crowing.
Very, very slow. It takes a couple of days to adapt to it even when coming from Rarotonga. You can tell the newbies from the people who have been here. The newbies walk faster and dress more stylishly. Some people go on the tours that keep you busy all day. We choose mostly to scooter the Island and stop for internet and lunch at the little places around the Island to entertain us. Otherwise, we snorkeled, rested, kayaked, read and watched many spectacular sunsets.
The Ending of our South Pacific Adventure:
We were going to dive today, but Jim got a little stomach thing, so we passed and are enjoying the day quietly at the beach. Tomorrow is a strange travel day. The plan, check out in the morning hang around here most of the day, travel to Rarotonga, store our bags, have dinner, and board the plane late for an overnight 10 hour flight to LA. There we go through customs and then make the final flight home to Seattle where we should arrive around 7:30 PM. It should be quite the culture shock after Aitutaki.