A mess in the harbor and an adventure in the mountains

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 1 Sep 2013 05:44
Today the 31st of August, local time, we are using the entire day to check how our and other boats are doing.
We have a Northely wind, that is not the prevailing wind here, so the harbor is getting all the swell coming from the ocean.
It started yesterday and it has escalated slowly but surely. In worse case we have to leave and go to sea.
One boat has smashed their aft to the wall and destroyed their windwane and other equipment.
The critical part is the anchor, if it fails to hold we are on our way towards the port wall in no time.
So I have been sleeping in the cockpit all night and refused to leave the boat.
Ellinor and the kids went to the saturday market to buy vegetables and fruits. Just to get ashore with the dinghy is an adventure.
A big cargoship approached the harbor and decided to wait, so they are out there motoring in the rain. And yes it is raining like mad.
We can hardly see the harbor wall.
That is today, not much more to say about that.
Yesterday was a more exciting day, for sure.
It was decided that the family from Miss My and us going across the island and then take a regular bus back home.
Ackording to local knowledge it was a little more than 5 km to walk across.
The profile of the island is very steep and mountanius, all covered in green.
The warm temperature with a lot of rain makes this place very fertile.
To make sure the kids could make the walk we loaded plenty of food, pancakes, water and such.
9.30 we left the harbor and the kids showed good signs of energy. Something that kept them going all day.
We walked on a broad road uphill for a km or so. Then it became a trail in a forest. What a forest! More a djungle or a rainforest where things grow on others, and smaller grow on the bigger. All tangled in screws, knots, nets and I don't know what evolution can come up with when it comes to reach light and the sun.
The older kids (3 of them) took off in front of us and as we had a very given trail we did not think much about that.
The five year old boys Gustav and Andreas walked with us. Or it became more and more climbing. We had to hold on to roots and vegetation to pull ourselves up. There should be some kind of marking of the trail but we did not find any after a while.
Made me suspicious. But we had to catch up with the youngsters anyway. And we met two other people on the way that said it was the right way. We where also bypassed by an Australian couple so it felt right anyway.
After an hour of climbing uphill in a very dense nature we walked on a ridge far up in the mountains. And by 12 I finally approached the youngsters. They have had a lot of fun on their way up but had not thought about stopping and waiting for us.
We waited for the others to aproach us and I was still concerned that we had not seen any marks.
But I seemed to be the only one so we walked on for another hour. Decided we had to eat and stop so everybody could rest.
Soon we where accompanied by the Australian couple who found no further track. We had them try Swedish Pancake.
Thats what you should do if you are at Cooks Islands...
So we headed back, it took a good hour or more to do so. It was downhill, and very slippery with mud etc.
Finallt we came down and found the way with the markings. Olof who had a GPS and a basic map of Rarotonga in his Nikon Coolpix (what kind of world do we live in? When you use your camera as a navigator?). Olof had a strong opinion moving on the track towards the other side of the island, as he meant it must be shorter.
It became even more steep, we even had lines to make passage in some places. But the kids did not complain. Maybe it was so adventorous that they just kept on moving. I was looking at Andreas how high he had to get his legs to pass a hinder and if it had been me I would had to get my knees to the ears.
By 5.30 we arrived at the end of the track. Where the waterfall should be, and it was dry!
The kids needed another pause, and believe me, so did we!
Walked another km to get down to the main road where we could get the bus. Everybody was hungry and it was getting dark.
We walked up the road towards a restaurant to ask if they knew when the bus would come. Once inside I smelled fresh Pizza and looked at the cold beer bottles. Asked for a menu, they had all kinds of food. So we asked for a table and they said they where fully booked, BUT one picnic table on the beach. As we walked through the restaurant we realized why it was fully booked. Everybody had nice clothes on, and I saw the kids and my wife, with mudstains, sweating, food stains etc. Once we got the food we realised this was a first class place, and did it taste? WOW! And then we took the bus to town, it took another half an hour and 12 hours after we left we where back to the boats. And what a sight. There was almost chaos in the harbour. All boats stretching lines and dancing like crazy....