Friday, April 22, 2016

Rarotonga and Raiatea


After such a big disappointment at not being able to disembark at Fanning Island, we were hit once again with bad weather and our worst fears were realized — we couldn’t get into Rarotonga either.  The captain came over the PA system early in the morning to deliver the bad news.  We did get a bit of a “drive-by” but it hardly compensated for being able to touch the land with our feet.


Well, we were finally able to make it to Radiate, however, it was rainy and stormy, with pretty hefty wind action, so the ship cancelled all excursions.  There is not much to the little island, other than some shops and a small town.  I ventured out for a few hours, wandering in and out of shops, not seeing much of anything to my liking.  Everything here is very expensive.  I did find some vanilla beans for a good price compared to what we pay at home.  My tour that was cancelled was to include a visit to a vanilla farm, so I was a little sad about that.  I also went into the local grocery store and came out with 2 bottles of mango juice and a french baguette sandwich, all for $4.  Probably the best bargain in town.  Kainoa, our port expert, had warned us that in French Polynesia things cost a lot.  He told of one visit where he went into a drug/gift store, bought a couple of magnets, several postcards, and some food and it cost him $127.00.  Yikes.  I can’t even imagine!!!

When a new downpour of rain started, I called it quits and returned to the ship.  I spent about an hour and a half up in the spa, and had it to myself.  That was really nice.  There’s something to be said for being all wrapped up in warm towels, lying on a warmed ceramic bed and looking out picture windows as the rain fell in sheets.  Ahhhhhh.

An elementary school in town.

A medical office.

An open air church

The beautiful wood baptismal font

Taking advantage of the thermal spa all to myself, I snapped some photos.  Below is the thermal pool.

And the room where the steam rooms are, as well as these fantastic heated ceramic lounges.

A view of the small town from the ship.

The captain held a special "I'm sorry we've missed so many ports" party for all passengers the other night.  Free drinks and entertainment.

Some of the greeters in Raiatea.

The wind is blowing!

 Food market.

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