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October 19th, 2007

We were up at 8:30 today and to breakfast by just a little after 9:00. Just a morning view from our balcony:


As expected a huge breakfast bar was available, from which I chose scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and some pumpernickel toast. Afterwards, I had a pear half, and four small slices of watermelon. The watermelon here is delicious.



After breakfast, we walked over to the boutique, where we bought a couple of refrigerator magnets, some postcards and stamps, along with some "nibblies" for this afternoon's lunch. We bought some Arnold's pizza-flavored SHaPes, which have, as you can see, "Flavour you can see."


Back at the room, we both wrote out some postcards, and I mailed them on the way to use the Internet kiosk, which I know I said I wouldn't pay for, but Robert offered the time as a gift, and I thought I'd upload my blog entry, which was ready to go.

However, the kiosk computer did not have a slot in which to connect my flashdrive, and somebody was already on it, so I decided to bag it. Off to the pool instead, which is where I should be anyway!



The pool was full of kids (ewww!), so we decided to take a walk around the entire island instead, which I believe they said was about 1.57 km. We set out with camera in hand, and snapped a few pics along the way.

Here's the Research Shelter, which is where the turtle researchers hang out.


We came across several stingrays in the water, and ventured up close enough to catch a shot of this one just a couple of feet away from us.


They won't attack you unless you aggravate them. The stinger that they have, breaks off when they attack something, and it takes about nine months to grow back, so they're very selective about how they use it.

I liked this little clump of trees.


And at this same spot, looking back from whence we had come, was this view.


Here I am acting casual as if I sit on the Great Barrier Reef every day and get photographed.


This part of the beach is made up almost exclusively of washed up coral. The few pieces with color in them haven't fully died yet. Here's a shot that I particularly like, as I used the macro feature of my camera and it caught the tubular nature of the coral.


We passed this shipwreck upon our arrival, but I was too much of a retching wreck myself to have snapped a photo of it.


Along this part of the island, they have fashioned seats out of the rocks. This section faces west, and it's where we'll head tonight for the 6:58 sunset, just before our dinner reservation at 7:15.


We saw a bunch of little sharks in this area, too, and I even took a video of three of them circling and carrying on as a helicopter landed here on the island. I'm not going to try and upload it to youtube.com from here. I'll do it when I get home and embed it in my blog then.


Here's three of them in the foreground presumably chasing each other's tails.


We managed to see one beautiful fish without going out on a dive or snorkeling. It's in this picture, but hard to see, and the light did not catch it to show the neon kind of blue color it had in it. I've used the Paint program to circle it for your convenience. :-)




After our walk, we had lunch from the snack station for $13 instead of the lunch buffet, which would have been $40.

After that we laid out on lounge chairs next to the pool, but facing the water. I tried to read a little bit of homework—Hauser, Chapter 7—but it wasn't too long before I was reading the back of my eyelids instead. Not that it wasn't interesting stuff.



After about an hour or hour-and-a-half there, we headed back up to the room, showered, and relaxed a little before heading out to the pier to watch the sunset.

Sunset pictures are never what you hope they are, at least mine aren't. Out of the many I took, this one is probably the most decent.




The sun set at 6:58, which was right on time, since our dinner reservation was at 7:15. Dinner tonight was a menu choice of either a two- or three-course meal. We chose the three-course meal.

CourseRobertJohn
AppetizerSweet Potatoes with a Herb and Guacamole DressingCarrot and Ginger Soup
EntreeGrilled Barramundi with Broccolini and Courgette SpaghettiAsian Noodles with Vegetables
DessertLemon and Lime Tart with Crème fraîche and Mango SauceLemon and Lime Tart with Crème fraîche and Mango Sauce

This is just the "gist" of what we had. I didn't copy the menu, and it was all foo-foo food.

The service at dinner was just terrible, and it's something we've noticed about this entire place. It's as if none of these people are really trained in the hospitality industry. It's like they've just been plopped down in the midst of things to work here, and there seems to be almost no management about.

The lady at the snack bar today was just awful. She never once smiled at us, or anybody else that came up after us. At one point, three people were waiting for service, and she just walked in the back area behind some doors, and stayed back there, literally, for about two minutes.

Not to mention she was just as slow-moving as molasses. Someone asked her to cut their foot-long sandwich in half, and she just sauntered across the bar area to where the knife was and then sawed back and forth at a glacial pace. And there were more people waiting after the person for whom she was cutting the sandwich.

Oh well. In all fairness, I guess, it's in the "1000 Places to See Before You Die" book, not the "1000 Places to Stay Before You Die" book. The place is beautiful; I'll give it that.



After the "Third Course Delivered Before You Die" finally arrived, and we finished it, we stopped by the clubhouse area to see if the ABC News was still on. They show it at 8:00PM each night. But it was just after 8:30, and it finished at 8:30.

As we were there, this jazz duo started playing, and they were just fabulous. We sat in the lounge area—the only patrons for quite a while, and just enjoyed their music.


Though we were the only people inside the lounge, there was a long, long table just outside the door, where the staff had evidently gathered for an after-work happy hour. There was a lot of drinking and laughing going on out there. It was the only time I've seen them smiling:  after getting off work. Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"



The jazz duo took a break, and we stepped outside and set up the life-size chess game. Here I am making a move on Robert.





Back at the room, we found the check-out instructions on our door, we loaded our pictures, and then did a crossword puzzle for a while.

After that, we packed up, and hit the sack. Another full day.

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