I first arrived on Rarotonga on quite a cloudy day, warm, but not beautifully sunny as I might have hoped. And on returning here from Mangaia, it was worse! A cyclone was predicted. The schools and hospital were shut in preparation. Boats were pulled out of the harbour to avoid damage. The radio had frequent updates on times and strengths. And so we waited... ...and it more or less fizzled out. The next day was much better.
My final day in Rarotonga was great. At last, the sun had come out, the cyclone was averted. I rented a casual road-bike for 24 hours, which enabled me to do a splendid 32km time trial round the island's one main road. The road circles the island, with no traffic lights, and virtually no other junctions - so no need to stop at all. I set off just after 6:45 in the morning, when it was light but not yet as hot or humid as it quickly tended to get later. Going clockwise so as to hit Avarua when it was still quietest, I got off to a great start. It got a bit tougher towards the end with the wind against me, and my lack of padded cycling shorts making for some discomfort, but still, 1:10:18 later, I completed the circle, ready for breakfast.
Later in the morning, I went swimming off the beach on the south-west of the island. There was a strong transverse current, meaning I had to continually swim north in line with the beach, just to stay in one place.
In the afternoon, I did the island's principal signed walk, the "cross-island track", which started near Avarua and ended up on the south of the island. It was surprisingly scenic and interesting, particularly where it reached the base of the "Needle" rock at the route's highest point. It finished at a supposed waterfall which oddly had barely a trickle, though the sound of water was very audible - presumably somewhere hidden behind the rock or within of the prodigious growth of the forest.