After a good walk along the beach we decided to grab some lunch, the restaurant was a five minute walk away. When we got there we found out they do not take card payments, so we had to walk to the ATM which was around 20 minutes away. As the day was getting much hotter and the restaurant was only serving lunch for another 40 minutes we decided to head back to the hotel to pick up a couple of bicycles. The cash machines belongs to ANZ and the transaction was nice and easy as they accepted Visa. We then cycled back to the restaurant:

Tauono’s Garden Cafe
PO Box 1,
Aitutaki,
Cook Islands
T: + 682 31 562
w: www.tauonos.com
e: sonjar@aitutaki.net.ck

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This restaurant is great, they grow all their own vegetables and fruit. They do offer some meat dishes, here in Aitutaki it is not possible to find an all vegetarian restaurant.

Sangeet ordered the bread fruit lasagne (not cheap!) which we shared, it tasted great. I also had coconut bread which was also good. After a tasty meal, Sonja, the owner, came out to talk to us and the family sitting next to us, they were from Auckland, New Zealand. She told us how her trip to Aitutaki was only for the day, 15 years ago. This is where she met her husband and has stayed ever since. They have a couple of plantations in the hills where they grow everything, unfortunately a cyclone hit the area a couple of years ago and has devastated one of the plantations, this is where they used to grow coffee and bananas. This all happened 3 months after her husband passed away. Sonja is a keen believer in getting WWOOF’ers onboard to help with the gardening, unfortunately the plantation which is damaged needs to be bulldozed and started again from scratch. She is a very interesting lady and seems to have many stories to tell. She told us about her travels and also how much Aitutaki has changed in the last 15 years. She is a real defender of the mud crabs!

Bread fruit lasagne:

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She then asked us all what do we do, I responded that I am in IT so was Whiston from Auckland. She said her Apple Mac had sound issues, we responded by saying we are PC/Window’s guys and get a PC! We then offered to take a look so she brought out her Mac. So now you have four people around the Mac, Whiston, Tyler (their son) Sonja and myself, I powered the laptop, so I class myself as first line support, Weston who we class as second line support has a quick look and passes it to Tyler who said they have around 300 Mac’s in their school. He resolved the issue!!

Tyler resolving the issue:

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Problem solved!

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The tech team!

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Sonja was happy but commented that the two IT professionals did not know a thing! This sounds about right!!

It was a fantastic lunch, full of good food, good company and good laughter! You just could not script this!

After lunch Weston, Helen and Tyler mentioned they were hoping to have a look around Etu Moana, we invited them to come along with us. They came with us and liked the resort. We had good conversation and then they decided to head off for a swim.

Sangeet and I grabbed the bikes and cycled into town….well the one grocery shop that is there….the canned foods, cereals, cheeses, chocolates are imported from New Zealand so are very expensive. Take for example a box of coco pops is $10 NZ which works out at £5 British pounds! Sangeet’s small fruit and nut chocolate cost us $3.50 NZ!

The staple diet of the island is fish and chicken…..you can see chickens / cockerels everywhere, they wake you up VERY early you almost cannot blame the locals for eating them!

Oct 17, 2012 10:23 AM
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On the way back to the hotel we passed three other grocery stores. All have similar produce, at one store I asked the lady “who offers free wifi?” she responded “nobody you will just have to hack in!!” Okay that sounds like a challenge! We bought the following from the groceries – there was very little choice!

Crackers
Peanut butter
Tomato soup (concentrated!)
Vermicelli (made from green beans)
Soya milk
Sugar
Fruit and nut chocolate
Sprite

In the evening we watched the sun set over the ocean which was fantastic.

I enjoyed peanut butter with crackers and sameeya (sweet vermicelli dish) for dessert.

The hotel we are staying at had a selection of DVD’s we borrowed one, called “The Holiday” it was a good movie, unfortunately I fell asleep before the end…………….Sangeet filled me in!

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