So, first a caveat. This is going to be mostly a picture post, but I think you’ll understand why after looking at the pictures. We had the entire day in Palau, and then a 1:30am (yes, in the morning) flight out of Palau. Plan was to make the absolute most of the day.
I’d been bothering the tour company that everyone recommended for months, and they said they only ran the tour with four or more people. One week out, still was just us…but they said they had two more, and we were set to go. With our good luck, when we got there, they were a last-minute cancel, so we had a private boat snorkeling tour. Excellent!
The plan was to head to Jellyfish Lake, which anyone who watched Survivor is probably very familiar with. We were super excited to see it…and anything else along the way! Fortunately, just being the two of us on the boat, the guides were awesome and took us to lots of great snorkeling sites!
Stop number one was at “the spa.” This is a place where the water is relatively shallow – maybe 4 to 5 feet in a bit of a cove, and the shells and animals have decomposed over years to form soft clay/mud on the bottom of the ocean. Dive down, scoop some up, slather it on yourself, rinse, repeat. It was pretty amusing, especially watching the giant boat full of Japanese tourists do it!
Next stop was at a place where the reef dropped off. We thought the guide was exaggerating when he said the reef came to a sheer drop here, and dropped thousands of feet. Nope, no kidding…you could see the bottom just 5-10 feet below you, then it suddenly plunged so far down you couldn’t see anything but darkness. We swam around here for 45 minutes or so, and right near the end saw a couple of sharks just a few feet from us!
After this it was time to head to a nearby island, and have lunch. They had packed some Japanese bento boxes (guess this tells you who their primary clients are!) and it was tasty and filling enough, and soon it was time to head out again.
Our next stop was Jellyfish lake, which was a good distance away. After a way, we docked at the side of the island the lake was in the middle of, and then took a good 15-20 minute hike straight uphill into the island…then straight downhill into the lake in the middle of the island. After jumping in, we started to slowly swimming out to the centre of the lake where the highest concentration of jellyfish were. I was slightly nervous, since everything you hear about jellyfish is how bad they sting, but these were soft, kinda squishy, and almost cute! Who am I kidding…they were incredibly cute and fun to play with. We were warned not to kick too hard with the fins, however, because it could harm them.
After playing in Jellyfish Lake for an hour or so, we headed to one last stop to see “Clam Alley.” This was a reef full of giant clams. I had no idea just how “giant” giant was going to be. These things were several feet across!
Next stop was to head back. I had an idea I was getting pretty badly sunburned at this point, and you can see it a bit in this pic, but it wasn’t until a day or so later I realized just how bad it was. Oh well, as the pics above show, it was am amazing experience…though next time I’m wearing a shirt!
It was back to the docks and Sam’s had thoughtfully (or profit-motivated?) set up a bar and restaurant afterwards. We relaxed with a couple of beers and some fries before catching a car back to the hotel.
It was then back to the hotel, and shower up. Our rate included 6pm late check-out, which was awesome with a 1:30am flight. We grabbed a couple of pre-dinner drinks after checking out, and then had dinner at the hotel restaurant. By this time it was only 9pm, and we still had over four hours before our flight. Matt came up with the perfect idea: a nap on the beach on the beach chairs. After 90 minutes nap we were rested enough to head to the airport for the world’s worst red-eye flight ever!