Who's afraid of the big bad jellyfish?

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July 27th 2007
Published: December 1st 2007
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Basic but comfotable hotelBasic but comfotable hotelBasic but comfotable hotel

View from the front balcony
End of July and time for a trip to Palau to sort out some work stuff. I was also planning to take the opportunity to do a little more exploration around the island of Koror and hopefully some sea kayaking. But low and behold, the day before I was to set off for the 1.5 days of travel just to get to Palau from Fiji, I came down with the most horrible cold ever. My nose was, well, disgusting, and I had a very charming I-am-just-about-to-die cough. Great, I thought. But I was not deterred. I was going to Palau because I wanted to do that damn sea kayaking and it was all organised. So there.

All that just to say that it was not a particularly pleasant trip over to Palau from Fiji, although I have to say I definitely prefer the Suva-Nadi-Honolulu-Guam-Palau itinerary to the Suva-Nadi-Brisbane-Cairns-Guam-Palau nightmare. The USA route has fewer changes and I think in total it is a few hours shorter. So I arrived in the evening on Saturday, pretty tired and with the cold still tormenting me. I was determined though, so I had some food and went to bed early (9pm) in the

to my room - I just liked the colours...
hope that I would wake up the next day ready for sea kayaking adventures. And it worked!

I woke up feeling great and we set off not particularly bright and early but more at a leisurely 10 o'clock in the morning. Our sea kayaking 'team' was me and Phil in a double kayak and Yilka in a single. I immediately knew I was going to love this. I also quite liked out international team: Canadian, Greek and Czech; quite varied I thought.

First stop was to do some snorkelling amongst the giant clams just beyond the little harbour. So, so colourful. The biggest were a meter across, while the smaller ones had the really surreal colours on show. Also, I would not want to get a foot or hand stuck in one of those things. When my curiosity was satisfied we hoped back into the kayaks and headed out to the rock islands. This involved a little battling against the currents but it was well worth it.

Next stop was a small cave where clearly you could see that an attack/defense post had been set up (probably by the Japanese) during the second world war. A very rusty gun could just about be made out pointing outwards from the cave. It was an opportunity for a little exploring, letting the imagination do its work and of course some more snorkelling. I saw a small reef shark about a metre long.

A specific aim of our little expedition was the so-called jellyfish lake, where you can swim in semi-salty water with stingerless jellyfish. Surely enough, it was a freaky experience. Especially for someone like me, who is scared stiff of jellyfish. However many times Phil and Yilka told me that the jellyfish were harmless, I just could quite convince myself. Although I did swim amongtst them, I didn't indulge in picking them up and waving them around like the guys did! It was a fun experience and definitely I never thought I would ever be swimming around with tens of jellyfish surrounding me.

After the jellyfish, we decided to take the scenic route home, which involved a lot more paddling around the rock islands and through beautiful passageways, back round to the main island and the capital, Koror. It was beautiful blue seas, white sands and greenery all the way. Very very relaxing. All in all about 7 hours of kayaking. Not bad at all. That is the beauty of Palau, a sea adventure is never that far away and we could do it the environmental friendly way: man (and woman) power only!

Sadly, with my camera not being waterproof I couldn't capture a lot of the above myself but thankfully a couple of Phil's friends, Sarah and Mira have come to the rescue and I've included a few of their photos to give a better idea of what I got up to, as described above.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Giant clam in PalauGiant clam in Palau
Giant clam in Palau

courtesy of Sarah
Stingerless jellyfishStingerless jellyfish
Stingerless jellyfish

These are the kind of jellyfish I was swimming around with! courtersy of Sarah
More jellyfishMore jellyfish
More jellyfish

courtesy of Mira
Rock island in PalauRock island in Palau
Rock island in Palau

courtesy of Sarah

2nd December 2007

that's really....
exotic, Katerinaki!! Ethixes poly yeneotita! filakia i manoula

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