I awoke early this morning. The 6 am call to prayer and the cocks had something to do with it, but also we had been informed that we had only booked one of the bungalows we were currently occupying, not two and that the owner was due today to come and talk to us about paying for the other one. I guess it was more this fact playing on my mind that caused the fitful sleep and premature end to my sleep.
Profiting from the peace and quiet I took the opportunity to catch up on some blogging, finally I am now only a day behind! The rest of the family rose at around 8 am and we headed for breakfast. Pancakes for the boys and omelette for Tania and I started the day off after which we popped down to the local shop to get some water, apple juice and biscuits for their quatre heure – I guess it would translate as afternoon tea. Gathering our things together we headed to the beachside warung we had made our second home and after a coffee we went out to swim.
The tide was completely out. Instead of wading through 50m of shallow seas avoiding the rocks and broken coral to get to the reef, it was now a march overland to the water’s edge and only a short swim to the reef itself. The toiling slog over the sand was rewarded handsomely with our first turtle view of the day. It was again feeding on the coral and coming up for air at intervals. It’s beak ripping the coral and it’s front flippers helping it to break the larger morsels in it’s mouth in a sweeping motion from the back to the front of it’s head. It was magical to watch this elegant and graceful creature in it’s natural habitat. Totally ignoring our presence it rose to the surface to breathe just beside us. The broken shell clear in every detail and with a film of algae upon it, it’s skin leathery like that of a crocodile and coloured yellow and brown, it’s front fins gently caressing the water to propel it forwards in easy fashion and then used as planes to turn and dive. Fantastic.
As the tide was out, we had the chance on the way back to examine some of the coral in greater detail as we were snorkelling closer to them than usual. We watched the little fish living there flitting around the fronds and then dart into crevices as they became aware of our giant forms looming above them. Supple branches of coral wafting in the moving seas, matching the rhythm of the waves and the pulse of the current. Searching the darker holes to see if there was anything lurking there; monster eels or octopus. Who would have thought that floating in the sea, face downwards could be so interesting?!
We went out once more, in the afternoon. The tide was in now and so we waded to our “turtle” spot. After swimming around, eagle-eyed Oskar spotted the turtle. Tania, Luca and Mateo were too far away from us to hear our cries over the swell. As Oskar and I watched the sea turtle rose to the surface. This time, instead of putting just it’s beak out of the water, it floated on the sea, most of it’s shell out of the water whilst it filled it’s lungs just a few metres from us. This turtle did not have a broken shell by its tail, and so we cunningly deducted that this must be a different turtle to the one we normally saw. It rested there for a minute or so, and then it dived down into the deep. We followed it with our eyes as it descended to it’s spot on the sea bed and settled itself on the bottom. Had we not seen it settle, it would have been virtually impossible to spot, its shell camouflaging it perfectly against the sandy shadows below us.
Joining up with Tania again we leisurely swam back to the shore. Agreeing that we needed to do some investigations and planning for our next step after Jogja we packed up early and headed home. Planning is always difficult, and even the plan to do some planning went by the wayside as washing, rinsing, and general children stuff took precedence.
We went for early dinner at Scallywags. We walked almost as far as the town stretched to the south to see what we could see before returning for a sumptuous feast at this upmarket restaurant – it even had terry hand towels in the bathroom that you dropped into a laundry basket. The food was really good and familiar for the boys – excellent cheese burgers, sausage and mash; Tania was the odd one out with Nasi Goring topped with Saty which looked amazing and tasted just as good. Homemade vanilla ice cream and a small but perfectly formed apple crumble with ice cream. Yum, yum. Ok, it was definitely not a cheap meal, but well worth it. Full and most definitely happy we headed home to bed.