Edmund’s flight home was Saturday evening so we had just enough time during the day to do one last fun activity with him. We decided to go to the beach on the east coast of the island. Masoud picked us up at 9 again and it took us about an hour to drive to the other side, to a beach called Paje. This section of the beach is famous for kite surfing and later in the morning we watched some people launch their kites and go out on the water.
On the drive out we passed through one of the national forests and caught a glimpse of the rare red colobus monkeys that live on the island. You can’t stop and take photos without paying a fee, so we settled for a quick look before driving on.
We walked along the beach, which actually had a bit of tide to it, looking for a good place to set up camp. All of the beds are for hotel guests only, but we found a nice spot under an umbrella which suited us well. There’s a reef a few miles off of shore we could see the surf hitting the reef. The water between shore and the reef is not very deep, which gives it a very green color. With the waves in the background and just a hint of deep blue ocean, it made Paje very picturesque. The sand was nice and soft and there aren’t too many rocks which makes swimming nice. There was a bit of seaweed, but it was small and not slimy so we didn’t mind too much. The water on this side of the island is noticeably cooler, although very comfortable. We swam for quite a while and for the first time in weeks I actually got goose bumps. Luckily the sun warms you up and dries you off very quickly so I wasn’t cold for long.
We got into a routine of swimming, drying in the sun, reapplying sunscreen, reading our books and watching the kite surfers then going back in the water. It’s amazing how a morning can float away when doing these things.
Since we were using a bit of beach next to a restaurant, we felt obligated to have lunch there. The waiter explained that because it’s the low season, they didn’t have a menu, but we could choose from fish, prawns, calamari, or octopus, with or without curry sauce, served with either rice or chips. I ordered the calamari to see what it was like. We said we wanted to eat at 1 pm, giving them 45 minutes to prepare the food, but even then we ate at 1:30. Jaclyn seemed upset that we had to wait, but the rest of us were content to sit in the second story, open air restaurant and watch the ocean slowly recede.
After lunch I went for a nice long walk by myself. It was really great to be alone for a few minutes. It’s great to have people around to do things with, but it’s also nice to have a bit of space every once in a while. When I got back I had just enough time for a quick dip in the ocean before drying off and changing for the ride home.
We left the beach at 3 pm and got home by 4, giving Edmund just enough time to shower and pack up before he headed to the airport at 4:30. I think he enjoyed his time here and I really hope he has the chance to come back for more than just a few days.
There was a bit of daylight left and we were out of drinking water so Jaclyn and I biked down to the store and got some supplies and another 10 liters of water. It’s amazing how much we drink in just a few days.
I chatted with Jacob on Skype while Tanya and Jaclyn had dinner. It had been a few days since we spoke and it was good to catch up. I was just heating up some leftovers for dinner when the power went out at 8:15. Luckily, this time I was quick enough and my food was hot before losing power.
The still air caused Tanya and Jaclyn to retreat under their bed nets to avoid the mosquitoes, but I preferred to stay in the living room where there was a bit more of a breeze and it was cooler. The power came on after an hour or so, like usually, and I read for a long time before going to bed.
See picture here: