Monday, November 21, 2011

17/11/11 A visit to Aride

On Thursday, we were rewarded with a break from routine by having a chance to experience the island of Aride. After a 40 minute boat ride across choppy waters, we were taken from our boat, ‘The Flying Dutchmen’, 300 meters off shore and onto the island by the rangers. This prevents rats and diseases from entering onto the island and has allowed the bird population on Aride to flourish as it has done for the last few thousand years. We really felt like we stepped out of a James Bond movie when the rangers` boat sped straight from the sea directly onto the beach.

We began with a guided tour up to the viewpoint and started to get a feeling about the 12 bird species and the thousands of birds that live on the island. We saw lots of nests and chicks as well as the unfortunate few who were unable to survive to adulthood. From the viewpoint, we saw many birds but we were also the witnesses of the courtship of two lovebird hawksbill turtles in the ocean below.

We played Tarzan swinging from Banyan Trees, admired the Aride volunteers` vegetable garden, and had a picnic lunch (while envying the tourists` for their cold cokes and barbeque lunch). We finished the day off with a swim in the beautiful ocean before heading back to our own slice of island paradise.

It was an unforgettable day... Thank you GVI for the experience.