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September 13th 2007
Published: September 14th 2007
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9pm - Yesterday was spent generally plodding around the main town trying to see if there was some hidden culture behind all the commercialised shops the centre holds. Going down a back alley i was happy to discover that there was a little ice cream shack next to a park. So having happily purchased our icecreams me and claire made our way to the park and sat happily watching the local children having fun in their own environment. The children in this country and the Cooks are so much more well behaved and well mannered than those in England (Big shock there, mini Chav's anyone). They're way of life is so much simpler than ours, the majority live in tiny houses probably not big enough to accomodate more than one bedroom including that of the parents and yet they're happy attitudes are so refreshing compared to the spoilt, demanding attitudes of the children brought up in and around Southampton and no doubt throughout the UK.

Today we headed off on a booked excursion to none other than ROBINSON CRUSOE ISLAND. After a long and somewhat painful coach journey for Claire we headed onto a small boat with the other visitors to the island itself. At the very beginning of the day we had befriended to brilliants girls both of who were travelling alone, So brave. Kim was from Canada and fantastic, promising to meet me when i go next year with Chad and Mariah (spelt Marije) was from Holland and was nearing the end of her year travel and so gave me lots of tips on where to go in NZ and Oz.

The boat cruised down a stunning river lined with vines that hung into the water and eventually we headed into the open sea instantly spotting the island. The island itself was absolutely beautiful from Afar and even more spectacular up close.

When touching down on RC Island we had a welcome song by the islands workers and natives. The island itself was tiny and could easily be walked in an hour. Then after a brief discussion of the days activities myself, Claire, Marije and Kim used the free Kayaks and paddled happily for an hour. Claire having heard the beginning of our Boys/Boyf conversation drifted as far from us as possible even though we had been warned of the strong currents so whilst keeping an eye of her kayak (though im not sure i could have done anything) i lazed happily in the light sun on the water.

When back on the ground we watched whilst one of the tour guides scaled and then climbed a coconut tree (seemingly effortlessly) and threw the coconuts to the floor, later cutting them open so that we could all drink the sweet juice inside. Then was the digging of the Luva (the underground oven that is traditionally used to cook food), The food was cooked to perfection underground covered by soil and palm leaves.

The buffet itself consisted of potatos, rice, fresh fish (which was the most beautiful i've tasted) and chicken.

After lunch Marije decided to stay on the beach and myself, Kim and Claire decided to join the Deep Sea Snorkling. Having boarded the boat i was already dubious about swimming in the ocean having been informed of Reef sharks and that 2 of the 3 sharks that hunt humans live in these waters. We jumped in the water but whilst Claire and Kim swam off towards the reefs i decided that not knowing what was underneath me wasnt very comforting so climbed back aboard the boat. Another 2 girls followed one of whom was having a full blown panic attack though as people who know me realise this was something i was able to help her combat.

Hearing shouts of my name i realised that Kim and Claire had alerted the tour guides that i had got back on the boat and whilst the other 2 girls were left in peace and quiet i was encouraged to get back into the water. Facing my fears and having been informed that there were high coral reefs on which i could stand in places i faced my fears and literally threw myself back in the water before i had a chance to bottle it. Quickly swimming to the instructor i grabbed both his and claires hands, possibly breaking a few fingers and then having calmed enough to be able to swim unaided began to take int the scenery around me.

What i saw was breathtaking. The fish were plentiful and surrounding us. Fish of all different colours and sizes swam happily and i got to hold and touch a living starfish which was amazing. The instructor thought my pain at being scared of sharks was hilarious and kept laughing at me but although i was freaked out throughout the snorkel it was a truely amazing experience and im glad i was encouraged and supported to get back in the water. This i am extremely grateful to both Claire, Kim and the instructor for helping me to do.

After the snorkel (of which we also fed fish) we headed back to shore and participated in Crab racing (As it sounds this is where many crabs race, their shells numbered and if your crab wins you get a prize) Then there was a bit of ridiculous dancing, conga style in which shock, horror the tour guides (all men) quickly placed themselves between myself and all the other younger girls.

Finally it was farewell before we boarded the boat and coach back to our resort.

This evening we have met up with Marije and Kim for dinner before exchanging email addresses and promising to keep in contact for updates on what the others are doing. We discovered that we will all be in similar areas of Oz at the same time and so are to try and meet up.

Then after me successfully falling off a hammock (much to claire's delight) we headed our seperate ways.



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