We have been back for a week since our 5 day break in Rarotonga - having a break from the small rock on the big rock. We left on the Monday – Michael in the morning for a management meeting , and the rest of us in the afternoon. We didn’t find out where we were staying until take off but happily arrived at Te Manava on dinner time. We stayed the week in a 3 bedroom house with a pool which was quite fantastic. Te Manava is a property managed by Pacific Resort consisting of luxurious self contained villas – we stayed in one of the older ones (thankfully) which was quite nice and well fitted out, but by all accounts the beach front villas are stunning.
We didn’t have any transport that first night, nor food in the kitchen. I could have called Pacific Resort for a transfer to the restaurant but I decided to walk the kids along the beach instead. DUH! I knew it was 1km. I knew it was the end of an exciting day. I knew it was 6.30pm and I had no idea when Michael might finish work, but walk we did. Or at least carry part of the way – I am such a sucker for punishment! Anyways – it only took a Pina Colada or two to get over that, and the kids played in the sand and ignored their meal anyway.
We got a ride back to the house and settled in – and welcomed Sienna in to visit with the rain at midnight (when we got back to AIT we found that heavy rain had flooded part of the high school and washed out two of the roads.) We had breakfast each morning at Pacific Resort with the aid of our zippy Suzuki Swift (at an EXTREMELY preferential rate ;-) and did some shopping in town. We spent most of the time at the house where the kids lived in the pool. The boys are now diving for things on the bottom of the pool and Jamie is doing rolly polly’s underwater. Sienna is paddling around in her water wings and starting to put her head underwater too.
We did a bit of shopping in town for snorkling gear and hats and stuff, a $700 trip to the supermarket and a big box of meat and other stuff to take back to Aitutaki, and some awesome skirts made from recycled silk saris that can be worn 100 ways (so all in all I got 300 dresses!!!!). The boys spent a few mornings with the boys in the kids club - one whom is the son of Jamie's favourite teacher. The did treasure hunts, doughnut eating contests, used the hand rail in the pool as a slide and generally hung about. We had a nice morning kayaking on the lagoon with Bailey in his own boat (occasionally being towed by daddy).
I went to see a doctor who was recommended to me by several people here. She is a Russian GP and Endocrynologist whose passion is integrating traditional medicines from different cultures into conventional medical practice. I ended up doing physical therapy sessions for 2 hours a day 4 days straight. She has some ideas that I can't quite get my head around but she found every single painful pressure point and knot in by back and arms and spent a lot of time using massage techniques to break down calcium crystals in my feet. It was agonising - I wept! I was quite shattered but straighter and more limber than I have been in years. Of course, her opinion of my arthritis differs significantly from my current doctor which puts my in an awkward spot really. I'm not quite sure what to do at present.
I’d like to say that we came back from Raro happy and refreshed, but the inevitable post-holiday catch up is dealing with that. Michael is working insane hours and the kids are playing up inevitably. We are having ever so much fun with Jamie's 4-year-old testosterone surge (super-powered in his case I'm sure) and sleep remains at a premium. So the Island is still lovely but I'm sad to say it feels like the honeymoon might just be over...