Cook Islands


Day 6

Garden Photography and Night Market

This morning I made bacon and eggs again for breakfast and had a fairly quiet, relaxed morning. I was eating out the front of the villa and admiring the garden bed outside my room so I thought I’d take some photos, this made me want to do more photography!

Along the way from the hotel to Muri beach I saw a sign that pointed to some gardens, so I packed my bag with photography gear, put my tripod on my back and tried to find that sign. There were dark clouds and it was very lightly raining, but I was already half way there so I just kept going.

I hadn’t seen the sign yet, but along the way I thought I’d see what the side roads were like. So far I had only been on the main road that goes around the island, but there was an inner road and the odd side road which was more residential. There were small houses, farms and animals walking around. It was cool to see this side of the island rather than just the more touristy side with hotels, shops and beaches. The side roads were made of mostly dirt and rock, but scooter wasn’t exactly designed for off-road, but I managed get through the muddy hills ok.

After this little detour, I made it back to the main road and eventually found the gardens. It was a nice walk into and through the gardens and there were signs for the “Hidden Spirit Cafe”. I was pretty hungry and it was still lightly raining, so decided to get some food first.

I ordered a delicious fruit and chicken salad with coconut Mayo. The waiter was telling me how they pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients from around the island. The meal was light and really refreshing, probably my favourite meal here so far!

After lunch I walked around the gardens and took a few photos.

After spending a little time here, I thought I was already half way to Muri so I may as well go there for a bit. The weather had cleared up and the sun was shining, so I stopped at a fishing pier to put some sunscreen on.

I stopped at KiteSUP to enquire about kite surfing lessons, they were a little more expensive than I was expecting, but I took a brochure to have a think about it. They said that the wind should pick up by around Thursday so I have some time to think about it.
This place also offered “paddleboard yoga”! They have classes on Wednesday morning, it was a bit early but I was keen to give that a go so I booked it!

From here I went a bit further down the road and saw a massage place, it looked ok so I enquired there too. The other big attraction in Muri is the night market. There was still a bit of time before it started so I stopped by LBV Bakery for a little snack and a cup of tea. I had read about LBV Bakery, KiteSUP and the night market during my research so it was good to see these places with my own eyes. I sat outside in the sun and had my muffin and tea while I watched the chickens running around everywhere.

After relaxing here for a bit, I thought I could probably use that massage after all and rode back to the shop. I got a back, neck and shoulders massage and then went back to the night market area and waited around for it to get started.

As everything was being setup, I got speaking to one of the people that was setting up a stall and it sounds like these markets are pretty popular. I got directions to the nearest ATM to get some cash out for dinner (the ATM fee was $5.50!) and by the time I got back the market was in full swing.
The market had a lot of options for dinner and some very tempting home made desserts! I ended up getting a Marlin salad, berry smoothie and choc-berry brownie - very tasty!

As the sun was setting, the temperature was getting a bit colder and I realised I didn’t bring my jumper or a helmet and the ride home wouldn’t be very enjoyable. The wind from the ride makes it much colder! I ended up using my sunglasses as goggles so I could see where I was going!

I got home and ended up preparing some burger patties to cook up on the BBQ at some point and then had a little nap. When I woke up I had a shower and read my book before going to bed.