The next day, we rolled out of bed and straight onto the beach. A coconut somehow appeared on my lap and I happily lapped up the sweet, cool, water watching the sun gleam off the ocean and ripples work their way to the shore.
We just had time to finish our drinks (mango smoothie for him) before the captain shouted across to us and it was time to hop aboard for a morning boat trip.
After chugging along for a while, the boat beached itself on another island and we all jumped off to explore. After wandering down the beach, we were beckoned back as the captain pointed at the cliff in front of the boat. Looking closer, there was a small hole in the rock and I saw someones feet disappear into it. The Gentleman and I looked at each other wide eyed as the oldest person on our boat started to climb head first into the tiny hole. Holding my breathe, I watched as the rest of the boat got swallowed up and without hesitating, I clabbered after them all.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the right lens on the camera so you can’t see the actual scale of the cave that we climbed into, but it was beautiful. That tiny hole gave way to the tallest expanse of cave I had ever seen. The caves themselves date back in Filipino history for hundreds of years.
Swiftlets are a small bird found in this part of the world that build their nests in these very caves using their own spit, which solidifies into a solid bowl shape. Strangely enough, at one point somebody decided this might be nice in a soup and now Birds Nest Soup is a huge delicacy that commands roughly $2500 per kilogramme in Asia. I have to admit it’s not a delicacy that I would choose to try.
The beach was beautiful. We didn’t stay for long but found the most fabulous swing under a random tree on the sand. Sometimes I do wonder if I could leave everything in London and just move to a desert island, just me and Ben. I wonder if I would enjoy life more or less, whether I would get bored or whether it would be the best thing I would ever do. Maybe one day…
Bikini – TRINGL
Swim Shorts – Boohoo
The boat disembarked once again to a magical sand bank that disappears at high tide. On one side crystal clear water filled with fish. On the other, weeds so thick that if you get them accidentally wrapped around your ankle it could be fatal.
At each end of the sand bank lies two opposing scenes; thick mangrove waves its leaves at a rocky outcrop of island. Local’s say that a fierce male Monkey commands the rocky island, after he was cast away from the main land for getting too vicious in the towns.
When the sea started to envelop the sand bank once again, we set sale for home.
Arriving back at the island, our things were dumped on the deck before we jumped into the beautiful water ready for feeding time with the Jack Fish. Humungous black fish that grow up to 35cm. Usually these fish are found out at sea and don’t like shallow water surrounding land, however with the hard work of the islanders, they have managed to make the fish feel comfortable enough to stay. Unfortunately, the fish are becoming more rare because fisherman prize their meat. The islanders feeding them, keep them safely near the shore and help their numbers grow.
Being under the water, just bobbing along with the fish and becoming absorbed into their world, you realise how tiny the little fragment of your life is and how much you need to hold on to every single memory.
At the end of the day the memories you have are all you have to carry you through life. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience these with my best friend.
Throughout the afternoon, we cooked ourselves on the sand, sipped delicious iced mango smoothies and challenged each other to games of Pool. Naturally I came out trumps, before we called it a day and went to shower for dinner.
That evening was one of the most magical I’ve ever experienced, but that story is for another day.