We arrived and it was hooooooooot and humid. Holy moly.
After my friend declared all his cigarettes and paid the horrendous taxes the adventure on the island could begin. But before I start telling my adventure of Palua I have to add one additional comment to the taxes: after the whole procedure, we found out that we did not declare all goods, some of the goods were for free ;).
Anyway Mr. Popeye waited for us; we were surprised due to the unexpected Popeye-person. He was an employee of fish n fins (diving company) who was in charge of the lunch choice for the next day. We both chose our meal and proceed to our bus driver, who was already waiting for us. Also some other travellers / tourists were waiting inside the bus. Some of them also booked the error fare. Anyway after 10 minutes of driving our bus driver started to swear and we did not know then what the reason was. But unfortunately we found it out some minutes later when the bus broke down and stopped on the side of the road… of course as an experienced traveller we took it easy and cheered on it with a good sip out of our whiskey. The incident did not last long and a helpful colleague help our bus driver out. Our new driver picked us up and finally we could check in in our room.
Ps: Mr. Popeye was not his real name but he had a cap on and also his facial hair was similar to the famous cartoon figure.
Early to bed and waking up early our driver from fish n fins waited already (really Swissness: on time) and finally our diving adventures started. After trying out fins, diving computer, goggles, belt and jacket. We had to finish some paperwork with our favourite Japanese dive master Hiro (our hero). First time on the boat some instructions about diving, the boat trip started. Holy shit was that awesome even thou the weather was bad. We had great fun on the trip to our training island. On the way there the rain drops destroyed our whole face. The pain was like a small needle which poked our face with a frequency of 4 Hz. :D. That was a nice experience, long time ago I had such great fun. On that day we had our first dive, uuuuuuu I was excited like a 6 year old boy before Christmas. The whole journey was already worth it!
Ps: that day we got a completely different lunch than we order but still good ;).
Finally at the hotel, we could get some rest. I think, on that night we had one beer and two chicken noodle soups and nothing else was done that evening/night. Also that night I barely slept because we had to change room before going to bed due to a misunderstanding. So we got a double bed with two mattresses above each other.
At this point I have to explain the physics behind our double-bed.
Think of a system that consists of a stable base and two springs connected to each other (in series). Above those two springs was a mass (m). Mass m = body1 + body2. Some of you already know to what this leads therefore I post now the solution for that.
So anyway in normal non physics language: when my friend moved a little bit I felt a relative displacement up and down, of course also vice versa. This led to an uncomfortable sleep or in my case no sleep at all.
Next morning I was totally destroyed. My friend referred to me as a zombie due to the lack of sleep I could not enjoy the day until we were finally underwater again at -14 meters. That feeling is indescribable and I felt better and more awake than before. Also the awesome task we had to do intense the experience. We had to take off our diving goggles and Hiro took our hand and guided us for about 1 minute around in the deep, during that time our eyes were closed due to the salt water. After the time passed we geared up again and had to clear our mask from water with the help of air and the nose. Simply interesting! The diving trip was awesome and we enjoyed the ride back to fish n fins head quarter where we cleaned everything as usual.
Back at the hotel I took a small nap. This night was night market in Palau. I think this event is the only thing that brings the people from Palau together. A wide variety of food was available there. Also some really nice juices and cocktails were in offer. We shared a strange cocktail with some “strange fruits” in it, Tapioka was it called. At the same time the Tapioka was a strange experience but very delicious. For food we ordered red curry with self-made nan mhhhhhhhh. That night a the night market we would like to have staid longer but the past days drained too much energy and we had still one diving day to pass/survive. The last few days were very draining therefore we headed back to our hotel.
Last day of diving was the top of Palau. First dive that day was a dive with some navigation tasks to do near Ulong sandbar, which was a really nice scenery.
Between the two dives that day I went snorkelling and took some pictures.
Ps: We were not allowed to take the camera with us during the open water course (fully understandable the prohibition).
The location for snorkelling was on point. I could not even jump in due to the corals and the low water level.
Enjoy the pictures!!!
Last dive, the best dive so far in my big diving career ;). We were descending for diving trough the Ulong-Channel. The scenery, the feeling and the force of the current are hard to describe but I want to give my best: We were at 18m depth at the hooking point. From there we dove around the cliffs. Right next to us on the right side you could see the amazing depth of the ocean. It was soooo deep that you just saw the darkness down there. On the left side we experienced the vast variety of the living organisms in the ocean. Green, yellow, blue, grey, red etc. Every colour you can imagine was included in the scenery. Suddenly we could see the entrance to the channel. The current was strong and you had to pay attention to your buoyancy. At that point also we watched a shark hunting a school of fish, it was so intense! The rollercoaster ride started when we let us propel by the strong current. The ride was awesome and also the sleeping shark, which we crossed over, was unbelievable and breath-taking. Also breath-taking was my pressure gauge from my air tank; it indicated 30 bars which are kind of low. I let the instructor know and soon we prepared for the ascending and a safety stop at 5 meter. Was that adventurous and exciting, this will not be my last dive for sure!!!
Next day was a relaxing day and also a raining day. We went to the only place for sunbathing and swimming. It was a public park, despite the rain and the low temperature we had a swim in the water and also tried our new obtained diving gear.
That day was simply necessary for recharging our drained batteries. Also that day we were looking around for renting a car unfortunately we were too spontaneous, no car dealer had any car for renting, they were sold out. But in the end we found a car dealer that had some cars left for renting. It was a Mustang car rent company for a quite high daily rent price.
My friend and I discussed a lot about what we should do. In the end and after an intense discussion we came to a final decision. LETS DO IT rent a fucking Mustang on a fucking small island which is fucking nowhere. Our main reason was that we wanted to see the rest of the island and also that we will not come back the next 10 years therefore we decided to rent the car. So that day we already did the paperwork and paid the fee and the deposit. Also the appointment next morning was set with a private lift from our hotel to the car dealer.