Monday, 17 April 2017

An unexpected return to our Bungalow

ALLIE: DAY 65: Thursday, 19th of April       

A rather unexpected return to bungalow no 2: kayaking and writing

just sit back and relaaaax!
Had a really crappy night. Forced myself out of bed at 7 for a short swim, the packing, breakfast and out to the airport. Our flight is supposed to be at 9am. But here comes the big surprise: we are not booked for today, our flight is tomorrow!! Shit! How could that have happened?
back to our bungalows

But the lady at the check in counter just smiles and says “This happens very often! Don’t worry!”. The trouble is the international date line that mixes up every schedule and confuses poor traveller’s minds. 

At least we are lucky and Steve takes us in at the Raganui Retreat for another night! A bit embarrassed we return walking past the hippie American and all the others that we had just said good-bye to.

At least we have another day to catch up with writing and I shall have my chance to try kayaking.
We indeed manage to kayak around the little island in front of us, but it’s hard work. The currents are quite strong here and the winds are doing their shares as well. After an hour paddling we return exhausted to our bungalow.
let's try kayaking
Later on a drive into town, lunch at a little coffee shop, internet, groceries, bank. More typing on the computer – I have now finally finished my report on North Korea, Halleluja!

A walk along the coast and a bit of study reading. Am re-reading the ‘Aviation Law and Meteorology’ section because I might try for my CPL- exams (commercial pilots license) at some stage.

But my brain seems to be switched off and I hardly remember anything that I read. Is it the heat, getting older, tiredness?

A heavy rain shower doesn’t prevent us from popping in for a glass of white wine at our favourite pub, the Boat shed (the same old buddies already standing there and having their early doors session), then I pretend to be a bit of an house wife and cook us a bowl of ravioli and beet root! What a superb combination, but actually – we love it! 

PHIL: Day 65/19 April
left on the island
Packed and paid we get a lift to catch the early-morning flight back to ‘Raro’.At the check-in desk the girl points out that our booking is for tomorrow (20th) and momentarily I panic at the possibility of this meaning we will miss our connecting flight to Auckland and Papeete. 

The business of crossing the International Date Line three times in a week, coupled with the confusing departure times in the early hours, makes planning flights in the Pacific a nightmare of co-ordination. 

Sheepishly I look at our reservations and breathe a deep sigh of relief to see everything ties in – we have just to spend another day in Aitutaki. Well, after Steve at the guest house laughingly confirms we can return, another day in this coralline paradise seems like a bonus.
Phil's try at kayaking
Allie had wanted anyway to go kayaking in the lagoon but there was no time on the original schedule. Now we set off to paddle towards the reef. 

Allie suggests trying to make Akaiami, the old flying-boat base, for some snorkelling. As it is about 10km away and there is a stiff breeze and strong tide running I persuade her to keep to an hour’s tour round the coastline of nearby Akitua. We return sore and tired and even she admits exhaustion.

Grumpiness occasioned by a poor night’s sleep accumulates as A checks her e-mails to find there are problems with our furniture storage in Germany and we have been invited to a balloon event in Syria, but as it is in May this year we cannot attend. 

I look forward to a gloomy day. Allie can’t get any daytime rest so goes off for her ‘walkchen’, reading a study text for her UK CPL licence, past the airport. I try to catch up on the eight days backlog of this document which accrued whilst we were deprived of the laptop in Korea.

By sunset Allie has lost most of her irritation and is ready for a GnT before going round the beach for pre-dinner Chardonnay at ‘The Boat Shed’. The same group of Kiwi expats sit at their ‘stammtisch’ discussing who has just run off with whose wife and which businesses in Raro are up for sale. 

Our next door neighbours in the chalet are in there and turn out to be from St Werburgh’s, the left-wing suburb of Bristol. I guess they are teachers or civil servants, but we never establish which. We have spent too much already to have another meal ‘out’ so are doing ravioli and red wine in the chalet instead. Tomorrow we shall be on the correct flight back, I hope.

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