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