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April 12, 2013

We got to enjoy a relaxing day at the Palau Pacific Resort https://www.palauppr.com/en. The resort is lovely, with nicely groomed grounds, a pool, and beautiful beach. It operates, at least partly, on solar. We were ready to eat at 6:30 am when the restaurant opened because we all woke up earlier than that with the time change. The breakfast buffet was outstanding. There was a choice of an American breakfast and a Japanese breakfast. It was so much fun to get garlic fried rice and pot stickers in the morning! I’ve never had an Asian breakfast…probably because I’ve never been to Asia!

Just as we finished up, we waited out a thirty minute rain shower and went to the fish pond for the fish feeding. We got to feed a sea turtle, some stingrays, and a variety of salt water fish along with a few roosters that waited patiently on the foot bridge. From the fish feeding, we took the half-mile nature hike through the jungle, for lack of a better word. The slick, muddy trail climbed 500 feet beneath Ficus trees, tropical Almond trees, coconut trees, and other dense vegetation that blocked any breeze until we reached a gazebo where we could look out on the tranquil waters below. Bullfrogs and lizards shared the trail as we passed by WWII Japanese defense caves.

It was only about 80° and 100% humidity, but we were all melting…even my Texas friends. We found some ice water, browsed in the A/C cooled gift shops and then located a lounge chair under a beach umbrella, and took a dip in the protected cove. Surprisingly the water wasn’t that salty and the temperature was delightful!

At noon we went to lunch. The restaurant is open air and looks out onto the pool and beach. Gary and I tried the Palaun Sampler, which included Mangrove crab, fish, Palau nuts, coconut rice, fruit, taro soup, and taro croquettes. It was a lot of food, but fun to try local cuisine and tasty! The crab was mouth-watering good…cooked in coconut milk.

After lunch, we went for a snorkel. The tide had gone out. The five feet of water we had taken a dip in before was now closer to shin deep. This made it difficult to snorkel over the top of the reef in areas! The snorkeling was a treat for Westerners though. It was only the second time I’ve ever seen giant clams! They were enormous and so colorful…turquoise, salmon, black, green…AMAZING. All the fish were fun to see because they were the same type…trigger, parrot, puffer, jack, butterfly, damsel, spotted drum…but many have different color markings. I also loved seeing the starfish. Ellen, however, who would rather be in water without a fish wondered why I was out there so long! If I didn’t think I was going to be a lobster the first day with 30 SPF, I would have been out there longer. At the same time, I have to give Ellen credit for going at all.

We cleaned up for a BBQ dinner on the beach. Our rooms are nice…a view of the ocean, vaulted ceiling, and cut hibiscus on the bed. I’ve never seen such an intricate toilet/bidet combination. The control on the wall allows for front and rear pulsating or oscillating cleaning with different pressure! And I don’t think I’ve ever been to a hotel that provided two toothbrushes, a shaving kit, and a hairbrush along with the standard sewing kit, shoe mitt, soaps and the like.

At our BBQ dinner, we cooked our own “surf” on coals in the center of our table. We had mussels, fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, and vegetables. We also had clam and coconut sashimi. The clam sashimi was so tender…what a surprise! After our meal, we enjoyed a traditional Palaun war dance. It was so fun, and the people are so nice here. The warriors actually asked us if we wanted to take a picture with them! Dinner was early, so we rounded out the night with cards before heading to bed. Tomorrow we go out on a boat to tour some WWII sites, to hike, and to snorkel…our adventure begins! ETB

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