Introducing Koror

We are off on Friday for a four day jaunt to Koror, Palau and getting pretty excited about the trip.  Before I dropped the blogging ball, I took some photos of our last trip, which never made it into a post.  So, I thought I’d do a quick refresher on the trip highlights so there would be some context for the update on our next trip.

Palau is an island republic about 2.5 hrs flight from Manila.  There are only two flights a week which leave Manila at 11pm and drop you in the middle of the Pacific ocean at the unsociable time of 1.30am.  Not quite literally, of course, but after flying 2.5 hrs over only water, it kind of feels that way a bit….   Last time we went it was in the middle of a huge thunder and lightening storm – scary stuff.  The flashes of lightening lit up the sky and dark cabin of the plane every couple of minutes.  The flight didn’t actually arrive until closer to 2.30am.  Perhaps the pilot was enjoying the storm…I don’t know…but an hour behind schedule we touched down in Koror in torrential rain.  No photos of that, of course, as you couldn’t see a damn thing.  However, the next morning, the view from the window was slowly and magically revealed through the morning mist:

Yes, it was a jungle out there!  In fact it rained a lot – off and on – over the four days and you could see why everything was so green and overgrown.

We did two classic Koror highlights during our stay:  We toured the Rock Islands, which are a maze of beautiful small limestone islands just off the coast.  Protected by environmental law, the Palauans are doing their best to preserve their beauty and wild life and doing a pretty good job.  Here’s a great video that Latham shot of our ride on a speed boat through the islands.  The snorkeling was amazing!

Also that day, we visited Jellyfish Lake.  Crammed full of jellyfish – big and small – the lake is safe to swim in because the jellyfish have no sting.  Without any natural predators, over the course of thousands of years, the jellyfish have evolved that way, and it is amazing to swim among them.  Just be careful not to kick them.  I touched the first one gently, not really believing that it wouldn’t cause pain and then got braver and scooped them up in my hands.  Amazing stuff!

Not sure of our itinerary this coming weekend, but it sure to involve lots of fish!  More pics next week!

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