Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 19

Day 19: (1 June 2011 (-1 in time zone)):
- Due to toilet paper ear plugs, was able to drift in/out of sleep until 9:30.
- Ate the cake I got last night for breakfast + banana. Talk. Go snorkelling with 2 German girls. Pack while waiting. One from yesterday, one arrived night before.
- Fish attack goggles. Giant hiding moray eel. Octopus changing colour & shape to hide. German girl tell me fish nibbled at her belly button. Stonefish foraging.
- Walk back, mostly along beach. Chat. Leave to catch 1:30 bus.
- Tried hitchhiking with 3 cars, but no one pick up. Bus: "Warning: Jet blast area" sign. Sea wall & water, end of runway past fence.
- Check-in start at 1hr before, so walk to petrol station / grocery store. Expensive, not much so no buy.
- Had Matutu lager @ restaurant/bar/hotel across from airport. Nice "beach" & pool area.
- Meditated about life. Felt completely at peace after. Watched waves. Island is beautiful. Nothing on horizon, mountains green, etc.
- Airport: dry shirt & wait. Check in @ just before 3 for 3:30 flight.
- Check-in: "You must be Mark!" Didn't even check anything. Took bag on scale. Gave paper receipt-like slip for boarding pass.
- Chickens at airport. Vending machine ate 20 cents?
- Have to ask if to Aitutaki when boarding. Very casual flight. Polynesian pilot name. Attendant knows the other flying family? Chat in CK Maori. Just large family, me & Swiss tourist.
- Person on ukelele welcome on Aitutaki. Day tour people just leaving? Views of island & lagoon on landing. Me on wrong side.
- Long time unload. Get a ride with family living across from Tom's. Say umu is common here. Point out one the school kids are making for a project. Difficult to find person around.
- Get house for: "How much can you pay?" 35->32. After: Explained hurricane last year wiped out the hostel, still rebuilding. "You can't afford 35?" After me saying I thought it was $20s.
- Talk to ladies, they book cruise for me. They think weather will be good tomorrow because weather has been nice for past few days. No check weather forecast.
- Beach a bit smelly. Nice views for sunset. Slightly warmer than Raro.
- Walk to town. Bought bread & PB, things very expensive, as expected. Chicken & chips from place on way back. Air Raro shed & "no Sunday flights" signs. Beer.
- Long night. Alcohol effective against mosquitos? Step outside to see stars: other beach house has TV? Jumping fish at beach when shine light. I have larger house, but not right on beach. Bible in room.
- Water salty & Aititaki. Has some particles too. OK after running water. Drink beer instead. Mouldy fridge.
- Rat chewing on roof. Sleep ~11pm.
- Restless night. Rats chewing. Coconuts falling. Random chorus of roosters. Traffic. Ball field sounds.

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