Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hike Across The Island

Yeah, not kidding on that title. We really did hike across the island of Rarotonga.

It was touted as the "thing to do", the "not-to-be-missed" excursion.

It was a dance with death.

In a hot, humid, muggy, shower.

Okay, I need to back this train waaaaaayyyyy up.

We signed up for the "Cross Island Walk - Pa's Trek" on our third day on the Island. While we knew it was an adventure, I wanted to get it out of the way. You see, my idea of hiking says "Holland America" on the side of it. The Lido deck is my idea of a hike. But when in Rome...

The alarm goes off at 6:30 (are you flipping kidding me, alarm on vacation!?) and we try to sneak in to breakfast at 7:30 (which opens at 8:00). Jeff gets shooed out - "why you in a hurry? always in a hurry" admonishes the Cook Islander running the dining room. Our pick up is at 8:00. This could get dicey as we have no food in our hut (see this as to why there's no food in the hut). At 8:00 am when the van hasn't come, we start scarfing food down. Our ride arrives after we've gotten a decent bite to eat.

We are off.

The van starts up this back road and I'm thinking, cool, we'll drive most of the way. Then he puts it into park and gets out. So much for a drive. We meet Pa for the first time. He's everything his website and tripadvisor have stated.

Here's Kira wondering just what we've gotten herself into. Heck, so were we. This guy was barefoot!

After explaining some of the local weeds and their health benefits to us, he tells us that the bug repellent we have on is poisonous to our bodies. Great. We aren't even at the base of the mountain and I'm gonna die. He hands us a squirt of a bug repellent "his sister makes..." We rub it on thinking, if this is the only thing to keep me from life and a funeral home, bring it on. Now we all smell suspiciously like basil.

We started off at a leisurely pace...

That went downhill (or uphill) from there.

Holy Batcave - only I wasn't saying that; this is a family friendly show.

Over the river and through the jungle was not a song - it was a reality!

The song "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor came into my head more than once because I knew it would be real bad publicity for someone to die on Pa's watch (although he proudly proclaimed a good number of heart attacks had occurred, of which only one person didn't make it - but that was after they got to the hospital).

After a short rest for everyone to get in the same place on the mountain, Pa began pulling large containers out of the backpack he was wearing. The guy had cut up star fruit, mango, papaya (pawpaw) and chestnuts in there. We ate whether we liked it or not - it was food!

Then we were off again. To the top.

And we made it! Bring it on Ms. Gaynor.

Here's proof!

Our buddy the rooster even made an appearance - and then Kira caught him!

Even Pa was impressed.

Then we headed down.

Are you kidding me?!

Her face says it ALL!

We did make it out alive and later laughed about it to the locals (who think Pa is crazy, but don't say anything bad about him). Am I glad I did it - YES. Just to tell the world I did (dang, am I that stubborn?). Would I do it again? No. Sorry, did I say that to fast? Well, letmethinkaboutitno.

I took my basil/sweat/jungle smelling self back to the Palm Grove and jumped into the pool. Sorry I turned the pool green - I humbly apologize.

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