Greetings from Rarotonga...
We are on the island of Rarotonga, staying in Daughter of Moosey's cottage just up the road from the Turangi tip. It's nicely warm, nicely breezy, green and rooster-free. Son-in-Law has successfully modified the grazing habits of the surrounding 'wild chickens', using the time-honoured island technique of coconut-hurling. Oops...
Wednesday 19th October
So here we are, a day behind New Zealand, and loving it. Non-Gardening Partner has been extremely busy relaxing in the green bean bag. He's gone off now to do some snorkelling, and I'm left behind in the cottage, out of the sun - a good time to record and reflect...
So far we've been out walking on the smaller roads up the gullies. Earlier this morning we went up through the forest to the Turangi water intake, and sat by the burbling stream watching skinks flashing over the rocks and spotty butterflies flittering in and out of our vision.
This forest is very peaceful, bugwise. I guess on a bad day one might meet just a few bothersome mosquitos.
Talking to the Animals
NGP, a grown man, keeps on stopping to 'talk' to all the animals we meet en route. He's said hello (in other words, made the appropriate animal noise) to tethered goats, huge snoozing pigs, cows in jungle greenery, short-legged dogs yapping on their driveway...
Last night a quartet of piglets, nicely symmetric (two white, two black) that he'd squealed encouragingly at started following us happily down the road. Aargh! Luckily a motor scooter buzzed past, and they ran home.
In the forest we pass quite a few pig-pen shacks, with much snorting and often a family-unfriendly pig-stealing notice. And of course the ever present roosters and hens zoom across out path, many hens having 'lost' most of their chickens. Though I did see Hen of the Year last night on the Back Road, with nine staunch teenagers following. Nine! Well done, that hen!
We've been out to lunch at Maire Nui, the tropical gardens I enjoyed on our last visit. Stands of ginger have lost their flowers and have become straggly and huge. Last visit I fell in colour-love with the gingers - this time it's the Heliconia and Hibiscus flowers I'm noticing.
Again I'm foliage-drawn to the variegated Pandanus clumps - so beautiful. The leaves were used to make sails for outrigger canoes, which really impresses me - I didn't know that. What a versatile plant!
The pace of island holiday life is andante, and it's been a daily challenge removing NGP from the cottage's green bean bag (and his holiday reading). Island life must play havoc with the creative mind - Son-in-Law, a resident photographer, has got oddly excited about shooting (in the photographic sense) the Moosey gnomes when he returns home. It's all about putting a gnome (or gnomes, since I have about seventy of them, if the Disney dwarves are included) in unexpected places. Hmm...
I've read three whole books so far, and I haven't made any garden lists of things to do when I get home. Yippee! I am truly on holiday.