Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 18

Day 18: (31 May 2011 (-1 in time zone)):
- Got up ~8:30. People talking outside. Ate bananas for breakfast. Didn't get a chance to find something else, as decided to join the Canadian & Dutch (& German girl) for cross-island trail.
- Bus to town. Buy bottled water (just pasteurised rainwater?). Lost once, but eventually find trail. Schools. Slight rain.
- "Done half of the hike before starting the trail."
- Before trail: Grunting pig. Taro fields. Power plant in lush settings. Starfruit tree.
- Steep climb for a long time. Tree roots form steps. Hut. Happy it's not summer.
- Branch area: chicken: gave piece on banana. Follow trail to base of needle.
- Trip up needle: chain & steep drop below. Then ropes with knots.
- See north & south coast. Mountains in fog. Valley
- The trail up is rope with loops. Some broken. "Re-tied at least twice." Frayed. "tied to thin branch"
- Rest a bit photos. Back down. Spanish: avoid Suva. Nice views of south coast. Close.
- Trail continues along a narrow ridge, steep forested drops on both sides.
- Large ferns (mostly cut down) & small waterfall. Slippery, fall.
- Stream crossings. Hill covered in ferns.
- Swim in waterfall at end. Mosquitos. Moquitos attacking bag.
- Abandoned Shearton. Great setting. One corner has construction activity?
- Bump into person. Scooter trips. I get dropped on beach for snorkelling.
- Snorkelling: good amt of coral, but variety was amazing! In for maybe an hour, feel can keep seeing new things. Sea urchins holding pieces of coral to hide. Sea urchins with long spikes waving, glowing blue joints on plates. The colour changing coral & sand imitating tight schooling fish. Giant boxfish. Stonefish? Long ribbon-like fish, one with bad wound. Active sea cucumbers. Tube worm. Fish nipping at toes. Touch fish. Fish swim up to goggles. Startled when find large fish school circling me. Aro'a beach is a ra'ui area.
- Shower, can see fish even from beach.
- Walk back to hostel, rest, talk.
- Internet. $2.60 for 10 min. No local booze. Food. Meet the older English here.
- Take & eat back at hostel. Ride with Canadian for beer. Gave beer in return. "Beer for ride offer."
- Cooks Lager pretty much terrible. Like flat malt liquor.
- Drink. Talk with English. Many others head into town. Write.
- Just one station with Polynesian music again. Sleep ~10:30.

Photos available at: http://mandarinmanmarktravelbriefs.blogspot.com/