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Published: July 22nd 2017
July 22, 2017 - Alarm set for 6:30, up by 6:15. So, a normal day of "unlikely to relax". Today I had a day trip to Curiuese Island and then snorkeling around Ile St. Pierre. I ate my boring cereal and this time added a pear to it. It did not get better. I had to be in Cote d'Or for the 9:30 am boat departure, so I left at 8am to catch the bus. Does it take over an hour to get there? No. But the bus times are unknown, they are not frequent, and I didn't feel like starting my day with an hour walk to get there. As I waited, Carlos, the Spanish guy staying in the house, walked by to wait for the bus to Valle de Mai. After 15 minutes he walked back past me, deciding to walk the 20 minutes instead of waiting. Just then, two buses passed him! Oh, the irony. In the end, I had to wait 40 minutes for my bus and then it took 20 minutes to get there, so it was exactly the same time as if I had walked. The bus ride would actually be shorter, but most buses
seem to go to the ferry stop, even if it is not particularly on their way.
I arrived at 9 am and followed the directions I had. When I got to the Barracuda sign, for the company I would be going with, I walked into the building there and it looked like a hotel or guesthouse. I asked someone about Barracuda but she only spoke German. Then someone told me it was private. So, it was a rented house or guesthouse. Awkward. The Barracuda guy came out of a tiny door near the sign, and told me to just have a seat on the beach and we would leave in half an hour. I walked instead, and took some pictures. When I came back another guy took my money and we got ready to depart. I met a nice couple French couple from Reunion, then we had to wade into the water to get on the small speedboat. There were about 10 people, including the captain.
Curiuese Island is quite close to Praslin, so it did not take long to get there. We landed near the beach and had to walk in the water through some seaweed to
get on the beach. Our guy explained the day - some time here, then a path to another part of the island where we could swim and relax on the beach before a bbq lunch, then we would leave to snorkel. On the part of the island where they dropped us off, there are wild Aldabra tortoises. They are the same kind I have seen before, but they were wandering around, eating grass and leaves and having a good time. Then they were swarmed by tourists. One lady started to straddle one of the tortoises, and I got her to leave it before she sat down. It's really bad and painful for the tortoises, as their nerves are part of the shell. She asked me if the tortoises had names, like Clara. I was thinking "I don't work here, lady." I also visited the baby tortoise nursery, where they keep the young until they are five and large enough to fend for themselves against predators. So cute! But it got me thinking - how do their shells grow with them?
After 40 minutes or so I started on the trail to the other side of the island. It was
a combination of sand and board walks through the mangroves. Lots of crabs, and then lots of tiny little crabs. Adorable. I saw some palm trees sprouting from coconut shells. It took about 40 minutes to get to the other side, and the end point is the Doctor's House. It's quite a lovely building, and along with the remains of buildings in the woods, is a reminder that this island once served as a leper colony. At least they were outcast to paradise? The island is now for conservation and day trips. I walked through the house and down a short path and then I still had an hour until lunch. So I had to try to relax - what else was there? I put my towel down in the shade and laid down. For three minutes. I must have looked totally awkward. Everyone else is decked out in bikinis, just lounging. I've got my tank top and shorts on and I look like I'm waiting to be examined by a doctor. Then I started taking pictures of birds. Then I tried to lay down again. It was a weird hour. Finally, it was time for lunch, and I sat
with the French couple. But there was also a nice couple from Austria, and another from the Czech Republic. It was a nice group. The bbq was chicken and fish and salad with rice. Quite tasty.
After lunch we got everything together and got back on the boat. We had a short ride to Ile St. Pierre, which is a tiny rock island with some palm trees, and here we could snorkel from the boat. I needed to borrow equipment, and that was on the other boat, so I had to swim over (I finally went swimming!) and get the mask and fins. I could see fish from the boat so I was excited. But as soon as I got in, I was disappointed. All of the coral in the area is dead, and there weren't that many fish. Such a shame. I had read that the snorkeling was good there, but not so much. We stayed about thirty minutes, until everyone was back in the boat, and then we took the short ride back to Praslin. I had to get in the water again, from the boat, and then it was time to go home. It was only
3:15pm or so, but it was cloudier and there was no beach left with the high tide. I was still wet but waited for the bus, as there were others there. It seemed a good sign. And within 15 minutes I was seated, cruising on the bus for home.
I felt gross, and this is why I'm not a beach person. I was sticky from the salt water, I had sand everywhere, I was dripping. My hair was more of a disaster than normal - so uncomfortable. At my place I rinsed my clothes out and then showered, washing my hair with some weird shampoo I borrowed from Angelique. I'm not sure it will ever dry. But at least I'm not sticky anymore.
Dinner will be small, after the bbq today. I'm just going to make some ramen noodles and eat a couple cookies. I'm sure a lot of my friends are horrified that I'm not eating out more, but it's actually really pricey here for restaurants. I'm just not so interested.
As I sit here typing this, the girls in the house next door are belting out a song from Moana, just like I do when
no one's listening. It's taking a lot of restraint not to join them.
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