Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rarotonga - A Walk on the Beach, Dinner at Captain Jack's

February 24

Last night, the waves breaking on the reef sounded like a freight train. We wonder if there is a storm out to sea, as this is hurricane season. When the clouds cleared a bit over the house, the stars were bright and clear. So many stars! All those dots in the sky, and here we are on a dot in the ocean. It's enough to make a person feel insignificant, except that each one of us is so very important.

It was a cool night (or, it could have just been me, alternately freezing and sweating). I have a sore throat and other unpleasantness this morning, and I'm taking it easy today with slow walks on the beach.

Meandering on the beach always makes me think of my excellent mother. A walk on the beach, occasionally getting her feet wet, breathing in the salt air and looking at the waves – That's a perfect moment for my mom. And for me, too. Especially on this beach, which has nobody on it but me. Nothing but the sound of the ocean and the birds. The crunch my feet make in the sand and my breath as it goes in and out. I can practically hear my heart beating, at one with nature.

I love these blue starfish.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
The tide was very low (but not tsunami low, so no worries), and the water was clear and warm. I saw a little octopus in one of the coral heads close to shore, and also a couple of big, blue starfish, and schools of little fishies swimming close to shore. I picked up a few seashells, a couple of which hadn't yet been vacated by their inhabitants. Man, do they ever hurry away, given half a chance to do so.

It was another unusually cool and rainy day in paradise today as I sorted out my thoughts and willed my body to be well. It seems odd to be cool enough to want to wear a light sweater here! It's still very pleasant, though. Very pleasant indeed. Home seems very, very far away. In a good way.

On the waterfront by the harbor. See how low the tide is?
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Tonight, we went to dinner at Trader Jack's in Avarua. Trader Jack's is right on the harbor, on the waterfront. The view is amazing, but, of course, the views everywhere are amazing. Still, if you're looking for someplace convenient and good and relatively reasonably priced to have your “our vacation is almost over dinner,” you can't go wrong here. Harry and I shared a mixed seafood plate. At $35NZ per person, it was an incredible deal: ike mata, tuna sashimi, some sushi, lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, and raw oysters on the half-shell. Yes, against my better judgment, I did have an oyster. The last time I had an oyster, it about gagged me with a spoon. But I wasn't going to let that stop me. Tastes change, yes? And this particular oyster? Oh, my! Smooth, silky, like butter. So fresh! It tasted like the ocean. And so, I think I just might try oysters again. Yes. I liked it. Surprise!

For dessert, we had black bean sticky rice with papaya – a big bowl of sticky rice and a separate bowl of papaya. What a meal.

Why would anyone want to leave?
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
I think I'll stay here. I am not at all ready to go home the day after tomorrow. Maybe, if I refuse to pay the exit tax, they'll tell me I have to stay. That would be tragic, don't you agree?

Tomorrow, we plan to go on an organized snorkel trip with Captain Tama's Famous Lagoon Cruizes, where we're told we will see some giant clams. Looking forward to that, so I hope I feel a bit better.

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