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21 Dec

My Palau Adventure – Part II

If in the first post I was telling you that we got adjusted to the island and moved a bit with the kayaks, in this post we have enough adrenaline. We decided that we must discover everything the island has to offer.

We started with a land tour for recognition, which was not very hard. The island has a road on the east side and one on the west side 😂. The rest are some little threads on the map and you are not advised to go that way (but we don’t like to be told what to do 😉)

The first day I went with a guide, in Babeldaob, the largest island, north of Koror. I saw Ngardmau Falls, which is very exciting. You can go through the jungle on foot or for theose who can’t walk, with a train. We chose the tough course, but we are explorers.

Photos by Rares Pulbere

We continued up to the northern Japanese Lighthouse, the ruins of a communication center from the World War II. The strategic position (360 views) allowed to see everything that approached the island. And the view is gorgeous with small islands surrounded by white sand beaches, but you can access only by boat.

Next stop was the Stone Monoliths! A sort of garden with many rocks that no one knows how they got there. Locals  respect or fear  them. From what we understood, the stones were a kind of a currency, once and a boulder in front of the door was a sign of prosperity. But I did not understand from where those boulders came from.

On the way back we made a brief stop in Melekeok, the “so called” official capital of the island, although Koror is the economic center. Apart from a few houses on the beach and a mega imposing building, which does not fit the rest of the landscape, there is nothing to prove importance of the region. Locals hate this building, and visitors don’t really stop to take pictures. What shocked me was the imposing columns, which were dressed in a material that sounds like plastic. A kind of cardboard house.

But because the main roads are too boring for us, the second day we rented a car ( find it for $ 35 / day) and got to explore the narrow roads of island, which at one point turns into paths and we felt like we’ll be forced to go back.

The weather wasn’t on our side and it rained all day, but I saw the unexplored face of the island. Ie vegetation as much as you can see, a hospital in the middle of nowhere, a house on a mountaintop, too sophisticated for the area (we wondered whose it was), and unknown beaches.

And after two days with my feet on the ground we moved to the main attraction of the island; life underwater. We talked with those from Fish&Fins to go to Blue Halls, one of the most beautiful places for diving, in my case for snorkelling, you know that I ”love” to be under water 😬 But believe me that I’m very upset with me, failing to fight this fear. The underwater view throughout the archipelago is hard to match in other areas of the world. There were people who came 10 days, especially for diving. While snorkelling  we saw quite a few fish species, a little shark in the distance, but the depth is wow !!! I have pictures to prove it 😂🙈

What you should know, if you go to Palau, it is that for any activity in Rock Island you need a water permit. It costs $ 50 and it is valid for 10 days. You can find it at all the companies that organize such activities.


In our walk ashore we discovered some hidden bungalows with a superb beach. So the next day we wanted to be a relaxation day before leaving for Peleliu.

M&A Eco Beach Bungalows is one hour drive to the north of the island, but it is worth it for the beautiful beach. I do not know how the bungalows are inside, but I think it is interesting to stay there for two nights. No more, as you can get tanned in Palau by simply walking 😀

And after relaxation here comes the adrenaline. That’s how we alternated the entire holiday. And sometimes my adrenaline comes with motion sickness, but this time was superb. I waited for this day with great enthusiasm, but also with fear if i’d get sick. We flew about 30 minutes over these islands, in our way to the island of Peleliu and I can say with hand on heart that this image marked me the most (in a good way) on this trip.

We flew with PMA (Pacific Mission Aviation) and the pilot, Stephan was a great guide.

We landed in Peleliu, on a track made by the Japanese in World War II. And believe me track isn’t the right word. When we were told that we landed in Peleliu I was expecting something else. I thought there was even a guard booth and someone there, but no. We got off the plane in the woods and went to walk to meet with our host, whom we didn’t know where to find.

Because we didn’t find anyone we went slowly down the road hoping,  she’s not far away  and will not die dehydrated, considering that there were 35 degrees outside, 100% humidity and we did not have a drop of water.

Fortunately, Vilma returned after us and took us safely to Storyboard, our hotel for the next 3 nights.

Vilma is the kind of manager, cashier, cook whatever you want (except driver) who made us super good food and treated us very well.

But about the experience at Peleliu and Storyboard, I’ll tell you in the next post.

Enjoy my pictures

Daca in primul post va povesteam ca ne-am acomodat cu insula si am facut putina miscare la kayac, in postul de astazi avem destul de multa adrenalina. Ne-am hotarat ca trebuie sa descoperim tot ce are de oferit aceasta insula.

Am inceput cu un tur pe uscat de recunoastere, ceea ce nu este foarte greu. Insula are un drum pe partea de est si unul pe partea de vest😂. Restul sunt niste firisoare pe harta si nu iti recomanda nimeni sa umbli pe acolo (dar noi nu acceptam sa ni se spuna ce sa facem😉)

In prima zi am mers cu un ghid, in Babeldaob, cea mai mare insula, la nord de Koror. Am vazut cascada Ngardmau, care nu este foarte mare, dar este  interesanta datorita peisajului.  Drumul prin jungla poti sa il faci pe jos sau cu un trenulet pentru cei  comozi sau care nu se pot deplasa. Noi am ales varianta grea bineinteles, doar suntem exploratori.

Am continuat catre nordul insulei pana la Japanese Lighthouse, ruinele unui centru de comunicatii din al II lea razboi mondial. Pozitia strategica (vedere 360 grade) ii permitea sa vada tot ce se apropie de insula.  Iar privelistea este superba, cu insule mici inconjurate de plaje cu nisip alb, dar la care ai acces doar cu barca.

Urmatoarea oprire a fost la Stone Monoliths! Un fel de gradina cu multe pietre, care nu se stie cum au ajuns acolo. Localnicii au un fel de respect sau frica fata de ele. Din cate ni s-a explicat pietrele erau un fel de moneda de schimb pe vremuri si un bolovan in fata usii era semn de prosperitate. Insa nu am inteles de unde aduceau bolovanii respectivi.

La intoarcere am facut si o scurta oprire in Melekeok, asa zisa capitala oficiala a insulei, desi Koror este centrul economic. In afara de o cateva case pe plaja si o cladire mega impunatoare, care nu se potriveste deloc cu restul peisajului nu este nimic, care sa ateste importanta regiunii. Localnicii urasc aceasta cladire, iar vizitatorii se opresc destul de putin sa faca poze. Ceea ce m-a socat au fost coloanele impunatoare, care erau imbracate intrun material ce suna a plastic. Un fel de casa de carton.

Dar pentru ca drumurile principale sunt mult prea plictisitoare pentru noi, a 2 a zi am inchiriat o masina (gasiti de la 35$/zi) si am luat la explorat drumurile cele mai inguste de pe insula, care la un moment dat se transformau in poteci si aveam senzatia ca o sa fim nevoiti sa ne intoarcem.

Vremea nu a tinut cu noi si a plouat marunt toata ziua, dar am vazut fata neexplorata a insulei. Adica vegetatie cat vezi cu ochii, un spital in the middle of nowhere, o casa pe un varf de munte, mult prea sofisticata pentru zona respectiva (ne-am tot intrebat a cui o fi), dar si plaje necunoscute.

Si dupa 2 zile cu picioarele pe pamant am trecut la principala atractie a insulei; viata sub apa. Am organizat cu cei de la Fish&Fins sa mergem la Blue Halls, unul din cele mai frumoase locuri pentru scufundari, in cazul meu pentru snorkeling, doar stiti ca „iubesc” sa fiu sub apa😬 Dar credeti-ma ca sunt foarte suparata pe mine, pentru ca nu reusesc sa imi inving frica aceasta. Ce se afla sub apa, in tot arhipeleagul, este greu de egalat cu alte zone de pe glob. Erau oameni, care veneau 10 zile, special pentru scufundari. Si la snorkeling am vazut destul de multe specii de pesti, un mic rechin in departare, dar la adancime este wow!!! Am poze drept dovada 😂🙈

Ce trebuie sa stiti, daca ajungeti in Palau, este ca pentru orice activitate in Rock Island aveti nevoie de un permis de apa. Costa 50$ si este valabil 10 zile. Il gasiti la toate companiile, care organizeaza astfel de activitati.

In drumurile noastre pe uscat am descoperit niste bungalow-uri ascunse, cu o plaja superba. Asa ca urmatoarea zi mi-am propus sa fie ziua de relax, inainte de plecarea spre Peleliu.

M&A Eco Beach Bungalows se afla la maxim o ora de mers cu masina spre nordul insulei, dar merita pentru plaja superba. Casutele nu stiu cum sunt in interior, dar cred ca este interesant si de stat acolo 2 nopti. Nu mai mult, pentru ca plaja in Palau faci din mers😀

Si dupa relaxare urmeaza adrenalina. Cam asa am alternat toata vacanta. Si uneori adrenalina la mine este cu rau de miscare, dar de data aceasta a fost superb. Am asteptat cu super entuziasm aceasta zi, dar si cu teama sa nu mi se faca rau. Am zburat cam 30 de minute peste aceste insulite, in drumul nostru spre Insula Peleliu si pot sa spun, cu mana pe inima ca este imaginea care m-a marcat cel mai tare (in sensul bun) in aceasta calatorie.

Noi am zburat cu PMA (Pacfic Mission Aviation), iar pilotul, Stephan a fost si un ghid excelent.

Am aterizat in Peleliu, pe o pista facuta de japonezi in al II lea razboi mondial. Si credeti-ma pista este cam mult spus. Cand ni s-a spus ca aterizam pe aeroportul din Peleliu ma asteptam la cu totul altceva. Credeam ca exista macar o ghereta si cineva de paza acolo, dar nu. Am coborat din avioneta in mijlocul padurii si am plecat sa pe jos sa ne intalnim cu gazda noastra, pe care nu am stiut unde sa o gasim.

Pentru ca nu am gasit pe nimeni am plecat incet pe jos sperand sa nu fie prea departe sau sa murim deshidratati, avand in vedere ca erau 35 de grade afara, umiditate 100% si noi nu aveam un strop de apa.

Din fericire, Vilma s-a intors dupa noi si ne-a dus cu bine la Storyboard, hotelul nostru pentru urmatoarele 3 nopti.

Vilma este un fel de manager, casier, bucatar si tot ce vrei (mai putin sofer), care ne-a facut mancare super buna si ne-a tratat foarte bine.

Dar despre experienta la Storyboard si in Peleliu va povestesc in urmatorul post

Enjoy my pictures!!!

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