Our fourth day on Rarotonga and for some reason we decided to tackle the interior again with what we have been told is an easier trek across the middle of the island past Te Rua Manga (The Needle) at 413m. We didn't intend to go right across as we rode our bikes to the point where the road ends and the trek begins and we would need to get back to them. Well, it may have been slightly easier but it still involved steep clambering and as it is in thick jungle we could see precious little through the trees. We didn't make it to the top of The Needle and decided that we preferred to get back down again in one piece. It is interesting to have heard bantam cockerels crowing deep in the interior of the island and we concluded that many have just become wild. On the way down I heard bantam chicks calling for their mother. On tracking down where they were chirping they were trying to catch up with her by climbing a steep bank but kept falling back down again. Suddenly in swooped what looked like a sparrow hawk and tried to take one of the chicks but without success. I watched all is happen barely 10 feet from me. It tried several times but the chicks seemed to be too big to carry off so escaped the ultimate punishment. I mention this because the balance of nature is strange here. The most common bird here is now something of a pest having been brought in to the island. They are about the size of a large starling but look more like a minah bird. There seem to be very few other birds other than some seabirds but they are not numerous.
After lunch at a cafe (see photo healthy v unhealthy) we decided to circumnavigate the island again. This was our third time and now brings our cycling up to about 120kms. No more whales spotted not withstanding 2 hours of patient watching at sunrise this morning!
We have been silent for 4 days as there is no Free Wifi here. There are Wifi hotspots but you have to buy time through the local telecom company. I am not sure how this will work out or whether it will be sufficient to upload these reports, but here goes.
We have enjoyed our time on Rarotonga. Tomorrow we move on the Aitutaki.