Tuesday – National Park

Had a lazy morning and then met Janneke at 11 to catch the bus to the National Park. While we were waiting a procession went past, lots of people, noise and an ox(?)-drawn chariot (for want of a better word). Spotted in the paper the next day what is was all about..….

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We also saw a few men doing this, but not the whole procession

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It took about an hour to get to the park, not helped by being stuck behind the procession!

I wanted to go on the suspended walkway, but we arrived at 12:55 and it closed for lunch at 1pm…… So we headed out using the terrible map they gave us to walk to Turtle Beach about 1hr20min away. J was slightly concerned that the map seemed to be saying it was at 2500m, we were convinced it couldn’t be right, that’s really high…… Then the penny dropped, it was distance not height, how could a beach be 2500m above sea level?!!!!! We blamed the heat……

The walk was undulating. Steep ups that lasted just long enough to be painful and then flats/downs. It reminded me a lot of walking up Kinabalu in Borneo, there were stairs, tree roots and my endlessly runny nose was back – thankfully I’d remembered tissues – I drove Jungle Bob mad with my sniffing (he brought me extra tissue on the morning of the summit)

Any how, after just over 1 hour we were there, was beautiful, white sand and blue sea. There was also the possibility of seeing a special kind of lake – one where fresh and salt water meet, but it was the wrong season to see it…..

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We sat and admired our hard work, the beach was peaceful, you could only walk there or get a boat – too much effort for the masses! Wed already seen a lizard, spider, ants, but now we spotted sea eagles circling above us! Finally we dragged ourselves away to face the hills in reverse….. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, still lots of up, but not as steep as it appeared on the way down!

We knew we had to take a different way back to get to the walkway. We were stood debating a turning we’d discarded on the way to the beach, but a man came past and said it was the way to go. As we walked along we both agreed that if it wasn’t for the guy saying it was the way we would both potentially turned back by now, felt like a very deserted route.

We were following a stream distantly, passed a waterfall and eventually got close enough that I treated myself to a face wash – was so sweaty, clothes sodden, sweat dripping, the water didn’t even seem cool my cheeks were heating it that quickly!

Eventually we made it to the walkway. We had bought tickets at the entrance to the park, climbed up the stairs to be greeted my a man who was not happy with us – we were told we were late – we both looked at each other – apparently the thing closed at 4 and it was 3:55, he wanted to go home!! He let us go on and we walked onto the 5m walkway, which was fine, then on the the 10m, which was also fine, although a bit wobbly for my liking when there was someone else on the bridge with me. Sadly it was only another 10m walkway and it was done, no Go Ape that’s for sure!!

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Still had another 20mins walk to get back to the entrance, passes a sign saying there was something infectious in the stream so not to swim…… We both agreed as we’d not drunk the water we’d be fine…… Or at least know why we were sick!

There were food stalls as we left the park and so we stopped for a snack as neither of us had had lunch. I had yummy nasi goreng and a 100plus.

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We got the bus back, J went to lie on the beach for a while and I just headed back, was too hot and sweaty, just wanted a shower.

We met up later and went for dinner, somewhere a friend from J’s hostel had recommended – more curry! I tried and Indian pizza – I asked the waiter what one was and he pointed at the photo on the menu – it explained nothing! So I ordered a chicken one to find out. When it came it was yummy, kind of a tortilla-type base then a mush of chicken and I assume onions and stuff on top covered by a really thin layer of maybe egg white – I was watched by the surrounding tables as they were v intrigued by it – was tasty, slightly spicy, but lots chicken, I’d have it again.

After we’d eaten we met more Dutch people from J’s hostel at a bar, we chatted and around midnight I left, was sleepy

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