A problem free philosophy
Wednesday 19
th October 2011

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We woke up really early again this morning but there was no romantic sunrise stroll today. Instead we both rolled over and went straight back to sleep.

We even struggled to get up for breakfast but with minutes to spare we turned up for some "brunch".

With some food inside us we headed back to our room and out onto the balcony.

It was such a hot day. Stepping from the air-conditioned room to the balcony felt like walking into a furnace. The sweltering heat knocked us back and we flopped onto the daybed.

Our delicate state didn't appreciate the scorching conditions!

We did eventually acclimatised to the searing temperature (well sort of) and stepping back into the room was then like walking into a refrigerator.

An hour or so passed before we stumbled across the garden to the nearest loungers on the beach where we spent another few hours exerting as little energy as possible.

Today was our last day and I think we were determined to make it the laziest day on record!

We had lunch as late as possible. I had a slightly Greek-ish salad with a blob of soft feta cheese atop peppers, lettuce and some white unidentified vegetable. All perfectly tasty. Whilst Julie had another fish dish, a King Fish this time. I'm sure her mercury levels have spiked during this trip!

I had a Kilimanjaro beer but only one. Anymore and I probably would have fallen asleep at the table.

Returning back to our loungers we were entertained again by the coconut collector. "Is a coconut a nut?" I asked Julie. She gave me a quizzical look but no answer.

We spent another hour or so languishing in our slothness when from out of nowhere I said "Shall we go for a walk? I'm a qualified reef tour guide now!"

Julie gave me the same quizzical look before putting on her wet shoes and followed me out to sea.

We hadn't gone far when Julie spotted a snake!

"Oh, don't worry about" I said "It's a sea worm! That's what Hasan called it."

It wasn't a worm, it was about 2 foot long, had a forked tongue and slithered. It was a poisonous sea snake!

Julie remained remarkably calm and trusted my judgement. The snake lay very still as we approached and then swam off slowly to hide in the nearest clump of seaweed. It was certainly more afraid of us that we were of it.

Moving on and with my reputation as a reef guide on the line I struggled to find any stunning starfish.

"There's one" I pointed out but it didn't impress Julie much. It was a small spindly fancy banded brittle star which moved almost spider-like into a hole in the coral.

Undeterred we carried on walking out towards the breaking waves.

We spotted a few more brittle starfish and the tentacles of a squid sticking out of its hiding place. Then almost at the point of giving up I found what I was looking for, a red knobbed starfish!

I hadn't watch how Hasan did it so blagged it and picked it up with a great deal of caution. I needn't have been so apprehensive, the red-knobbed sea star was very robust. It had a very solid body, almost rock like.

Despite feeling like an ornament I'm sure it had feelings so didn't handle it for too long as not to cause it any distress.

I did try to get Julie to feel it before I put it back down. "Go on, touch it, feel the red knob, it's surprisingly hard" She did eventually much to her amazement. It certainly was a mighty fine specimen, an even finer one than yesterday's find.

As I placed it gently back in the water I found myself repeating Hassan's patter "The fishermen take it out of the water for three days, waits until it dies and then puts it back into the sea to attract fish because they'll feed from it."

He taught me well and I could tell that Julie was impressed by my local knowledge.

Having reached an exciting climax on my first reef tour we slowly made our back towards shore, taking in a bit of hunting/gathering action along the way as we watched a woman attempt to catch crabs.

The reef was constantly being harvested. There was always someone out there busy collecting something.

By the time we reached our loungers the tide had risen enough for a boatload of fishermen to punt across the reef spearing their catch as they went.

For the remainder of the afternoon we dragged our loungers out from under the shade and lay in the direct sunlight in an attempt to add some "colour" to our pasty white skin.

This I managed successfully but the red pink patches over the fleshier extremities of my midriff, or my love handles, wasn't the look I was going for!

This happened despite having been responsible and covering ourselves in a factor 30 sun cream. I suppose Julie must have missed those bits.

We retired to the room where another few hours of serious languishing took place. Walking over to the main hut for supper was a struggle. Most of today was spent horizontal. We were in danger of forgetting how to use our legs!

We were honestly so tired by the day of non-activity that we hardly remember supper at all.

I've no recollection of what I ordered. It was some kind of dark sauced vegetable casserole. I ate it so I must have enjoyed it. Julie had a type of crustacean similar to lobster which I've also forgotten what it was called.

There were no late night cocktail shenanigans this evening. Instead it was an early evening in readiness for a very long day tomorrow travelling back home.

Next day >

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