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November 22nd 2009
Published: December 1st 2009
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They bite at my flesh as I lie in the water. Yellow, red, blue, purple, green, silver, black, brown and white. A symphony of colours. Stripes and dots. Little critters with sharp incisors and large oval ones with huge puffed lips. A magnificent display, a wonderland of sorts.

He swims right at my mask. A fish the size of my finger but defiant as he protects his territory. A blow fish magnifies itself to twice its normal size. To my right a purple starfish does whatever starfish do. I have been floating in the Bacuit archipelago for less than fifteen minutes but have already seen more variety of animals than exist in the Adriatic.

A whistle blows, signalling to return to the Polynesian style outrigger canoe. A short journey later we find ourselves passing through a narrow channel. A lagoon within an island. Sheer cliffs rising to all sides. Monkeys play and watch as we snorkel below. Late in the day I find myself lying on the umpteenth picture postcard beach of the outing. A coconut in one hand, shrimp flavoured Tempura snack in the other.

My only decision: do I swim now or later?

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9th December 2009

El Nido
So many islands, so little time.

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