It takes one hour to go around the island along the beach line by car. I tried to ride on the motor bike to go around by myself first, but the traffic was more than I expected and roads are not so wide. I lost my confident to do so. I hired a private car personally. The driver is working for a local inbound travel agency. He speaks clear and standard British accented English. He have good knowledge about every thing enough to make me understood not only the nature or the peoples life but also history and secret of the island. His name is ‘George’.
He took me lots of places from the ocean coast to the mountain hills. He guided me well with his good explanations.
The first place there was local telecommunication shop to change my SIM card. I visited a shop at the airport when I arrived there, though the SIM did not work well. But the specialist of the city main shop of the telecom company helped me. 🙂
Next we went to a port. There are lots of containers which are used to import everything from New Zealand mainly. Also I found many fishing boats to catch a flying fish at night.
We drove through the many church cathedrals and governmental buildings and school buildings. We visited hills and fields where I could see the jagged mountains running from the east to the west and the good view of the lagoon. On a hilly place surrounded by coconut trees, the taboo (hidden) place was for old traditional ceremonies and governments.
Also I could see many fruits trees like banana, mango, papaya, etc. They have many plantations of them, although most of them ruined because of economical reasons.
We reached to a beautiful lagoon view place on the southern coast. I rather preferred this place to stay even the transportation was not good because of this great view. After this beach, we had the lunch together at the local beach restaurant (?). By the restaurant, there was a memorial stones showing their ancestors came and went to other islands and the continents by outrigger boats, like as Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii.
I ate a huge fish sandwich. Actually the lady cooking at the place offered us the free fish fries, but I could not eat it, for the amount of the large sandwich. George ate and finish everything. I guess his big body needs more energy than me. Fruits smoothy was tasty however. I finished two tall glasses.
We enjoyed the three and a half hours drive. Can you imagine how much I paid for his guide and drive on the day? Travel agent offered me NZD 195-00. George offered me just NZD 100-00 with longer and enjoyable time. Thank you, George.
I have now lots of memories and pictures of the island. At the same time, I became to understand and respect their unique culture and people better than before. I love Cookies and Raro.