14 June 2012

Sleep in
Walk up hill
“Snorkel” Beach
Walk over rocks

Today we slept in. We have a quiet island day planned.  This was why we were here in the first place.

We picked up some snorkeling gear and were heading for the next beach over. It was interesting that yesterday our hostess had trouble with us asking for snorkels, but today after having booked the boat trip they appear without incident (for a fee).  We were told it should be easy to walk over the rocks along the coast from our beach to get there. It is supposed to have great snorkeling.

We set off, but pretty quickly realised that it was not going to be an easy walk. The rocks are jagged and pointy, with the water coming right up to them.  We managed to make it past the first cliff. Here it becomes apparent that the beach is further than we thought, and we wont be able to get there without getting seriously wet. There must be an easier way. People do go to this beach.. There was two options.  Swim right out past the rocks, or go inland.  We decide to go a bit inland and see if we can make it through the jungle. There are some tracks so we are hopeful. They mostly turn out to be for the rubber plantation we are walking through. The locals working along the way seem a bit surprised to see us, and the dogs didn’t like strangers. Asking, we are told to just follow the path. The path is sometimes very hard to find. It is all overgrown and since we are now going steep up hill, also a bit slippery. We are in our flipflops (thongs) and these are not the greatest shoes for this. We are getting creepers stuck between our toes and spiders up our pant legs.

Once at the top, we think, we might be able to see easier where we are going. unfortunately at the top the rubber trees run out, and so do the faint tracks we had been following. Now we are making our own way down. It is actually better than going up hill. After a while we can clearly hear the surf. We seem to be running out of hill though. We are  starting to think that this beach might have a cliff side and we still wont be able to make it. A bit depressing, because that would mean going all the way back up and over again. Lets just push through and see. We find a gully going down and decide to follow that. This leads us straight to the beach. Yay! This bit does not look very inviting. No sandy beach, just sharp rocks. We do some more rock climbing, till Andrew sees a place where the rocks look smoother and he decides to have a go. He snorkels about a bit before coming back in. That’s tricky with the rocks, but he makes it with only a few small scrapes and managed to completely miss the oyster beds. No fish..
Where we are now, we have a clear view of the coast line and there is no sand beach. This side of the island is only rocks. Not suitable for snorkeling. It may be, but it is hard to get out far enough to find out.  Swimming back in was quite difficult as the tide was pulling you back out.  Andrew was not keen on going too far from the coast just in case anything happened.  Even then without knowing exactly where to go, you could be a few metres from the best reef in the world and still miss it.
We made the most of it by search the beach for all the shells. There are quite a few interesting and beautiful ones around. There is also quite a bit of garbage at the high tide mark. Lots of lost flipflops..  It could be a graveyard for single thongs in places.

When we’re done we take on the rocks again. We really do not want to go back over the hill and since we are now wet from swimming anyway, we might as well. A few tricky bits, but we made it through just fine. The most interesting things we got to see were a few silverfish type things running around the rocks, crabs, and little fishies.  Some of these fish could jump, and if you startled them, the fish would use its front fins to launch itself out of the water and into the next pool.  The best thing had to be the sea cucumber.

Back to our hut for a relaxing afternoon. As promised we went back to the Hilltop for dinner, but as we are leaving early tomorrow we had not much time for chatting.


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