Hienghène

by Adam

I went camping!

Had permission to leave work early on Saturday.  Rushed back to my room and had 15 minutes to pack, shower, shave (so that my snorkel seals), then went out to meet Ray, Josh and Mitchell.  Then realised that I didn’t have my international drivers license on me, so Josh drove me back to the office where I found it in my envelope of important stuff!

Jonathan was very kind to let us use his automatic car, and it was my first time driving on the other side of the road!  Took a while to get used to.  It was just Ray and I in the car, and Josh and Mitchell in the other car (while Jacu and Deon rode their bicycles).

First stop was the petrol station at Kone, where we filled up.  Then to Kone discount (supermarket) where we stocked up on supplies (food and drinks!), then off we went.

It was a very nice drive, going through the mountain on winding roads.  The scenery was nice, but I was concentrating on the road.  I had my prescription sunglasses on, and had accidentally left my glasses in the other car, so once it got dark, I had to pull over and Ray drove.

Had good conversation and discussion with Ray, then plugged in my iPod and listened to some French lessons.  After that, changed so some music and had some sing-along.

We arrived at Hienghène and went to meet with Jacu and Deon.  In the mean-time, took silly photos of ourselves.

We arrived at the camp site (beach) around 8:30pm, set up our tents and then hunted for firewood.  Once Josh had the fire going, we sat on the beach looking at the stars, then cooked the sausages over the fire and had dinner.

Around midnight, we walked further down the beach (to avoid disturbing other campers) and set off some fireworks from the supermarket.  It was fun, I recorded a video, but you can just hear us giggling.

Went back to lie down on the beach for a while longer before going into our tents and sleeping.  I shared tent with Ray.

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Around 2:30am I got up, it was too hot in the tent, so unzipped the door, and accidentally woke ray up as well.  He got up and moved to sleep in the car (but in the morning I found out that he actually went to sleep on the beach, and then moved into the car when it started drizzling around 4:30am!), and then I slept with the door slightly unzipped for fresh air.  I was hearing sounds, so it took me some time to fall asleep.  I later discovered that the sound was probably Ray walking, and then the dogs wandering around.

At 6:30am, I woke up and popped my head out of the tent and saw some other campers – who I later met and got to talk to!  Now I got to see what the camp site looked like (since we arrived at night and couldn’t see anything).  There was a sign pointing to the rock next to the beach “Billet de 500”.   I pulled out a 500 Franc note and realised that the rock on the beach, was the one pictured on the note.  I had to take a photograph (I took many)!  Then another camper came along, and we talked and met the other campers.

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Going for the note shot:

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After the rest were up, we had breakfast (eggs, pancakes, sausages!), then went snorkelling.

Dog that was posing for me:

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The water depth quickly drops and becomes a beautiful place to snorkel.  I’ve never before seen such beautiful colours: fish and coral, underwater!  Unfortunately, the video I recorded was super-suck because I kept touching the camera so it was very shakey and for some reason, all seemed out of focus.  I’ll put a few screenshots here.

Here’s some photos.

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Look closer and you see:

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I really need to call home and go to sleep soon, so to be continued…