Saturday, 10 August 2013

Life on Mars

I am well over due to a post on this blog. We arrived in Palau two months ago today and it feels like we have been here for a lot longer. Time here has a strange way of moving here. The hours seem to drag but then the next thing you know it’s Friday afternoon and I am sitting at Palasia drinking Frozen Margarita’s ruminating on where the week has gone! 

The wet season has certainly set in and I am finding the temperature really pleasant. It probably gets to about 30 degrees C (86 F) and drops to a temperate 24 degrees C (75 F) at night. There are heavy downpours of rain throughout most of the day. With the weather being quite warm it really isn’t that bad. Like the Norwegian expression goes “there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing”. Mostly what I wear I don’t care if it gets wet and it quickly dries if it does so it really doesn’t matter. I should mention that I only wear a tinted sunscreen as make up, wearing mascara would be like living on the edge! 

Although it didn’t feel like it would happen when we first got here, life is as we hoped it would be. Nathan has started doing his Dive Masters and is really enjoying that and the people here are friendly and very welcoming of newcomers. We hang out with an interesting mix of people that come from all walks of life and all sorts of countries but the core group is from Australia and the US.  I feel that life here is simpler and things don’t weigh on my mind like they used too. Work, however brings its own challenges. If I hadn’t spent so much time working in such a sick organisation in Queensland then maybe working in Palau would have come as a shock but it is not too dissimilar to Qld Health.  

Jellyfish Lake
Globs of Jelly- Jellyfish. Thanks to Tai for the photos.
So about 10 days after our work visas and local cards were sorted Nathan and I were lucky enough to be included on a work trip to Jellyfish Lake. Yep, not bad for a day’s work! Snorkelling and lunching on isolated beaches. 

One of the many Rock Islands
According to Wikipedia, Jellyfish Lake is about 12 000 years old and formed at the end of the last ice age. Basically the Jellyfish were trapped in the lake, have no natural predator and over time have evolved to lose their sting. This makes them gentle globs of jelly that float around the lake and are harmless to touch. 

Larger Rock Island

Snorkelling at German Channel!
Swimming with the Jellyfish was far more awesome than I imagined it would be! Jellyfish Lake is in the centre of a Rock Island, Eil Malk. They have done a lot of work to make the lake accessible and have built proper stairs so that it’s not as treacherous as I have heard it was to get to the actual lake. The walk is about 200m up and over a hill. Once you get to the top of the hill the lake comes into view; it is like the lagoon in the cheesy Blue Lagoon movie. I kept expecting a young Brooke Shields to appear in the centre of the lake.
The day we went was cloudy and rainy and there were still so many Jellyfish in the lake- it was incredible! At first I felt guilty for coming into contact with them but they really are passive creatures and have no control of where they go. In the end I just spent most of the time floating face down letting the Jellyfish float around me. It was a really cool experience.

One eco-tourist note: the Jellyfish are fragile creatures. If you do get an opportunity to go to Jellyfish Lake please swim without the aid of fins. There are so many Jellyfish you can’t help but come into contact with them, if you hit one with your fins you may actually cut them up. So please be kind and considerate and not wear fins. 

Note: I've having huge issues with formatting this blog- so I give up! 


  1. The water looks so so blue... like smurfs.

  2. The water looks so so blue... like smurfs.

  3. hey there, just found your blog - looks like quite an adventure... one im hoping to sort of emulate (gold coast couple wanting to move to palau if some diving work pans out) are you still there? was hoping to pick your brain a little... sorry if thats a little forward im not familiar with blogging etiquette but couldnt find a way to contact you directly! :-) thanks. troy & kylie