Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last day in Palau

Our last day in Palau was February 13th.  We were set to fly out of Koror about 2am the next morning, so it was a no-diving day.  Which was fine because we had some relaxing, and shopping and touristy things we wanted to do before we left.

We started out the morning with a long, leaisurely breakfast.  As part of our hotel package, breakfasts each day were included.  The majority of the people that stay at the hotel are Japanese, and apparently Japanese don't eat breakfasts like we do, like of eggs and cereal and's just another meal to them.  Breakfast was always an interesting combination of American type things, like eggs and bacon and regular food stuff like hot dogs and sweet and sour chicken and sushi and salad.  We tried everything that day since we weren't getting a dive boat with a full stomach.

A view of our hotel from the water as the boat is bringing us back after a day of diving.

The lobby of our hotel, the Sea Passion.

After paying our tab at Sam's and taking a few last photos, we decided to head downtown for some shopping with Marv and Jo.

The Bottom Time Bar & Grill at Sam's.

A cab ride downtown, which was about 2 miles away or so, was about $5.  We could have walked, but it was just too darn hot.  So, the four of us cabbed it, and they took us to the shopping place, which mostly consists of a big Ben Franklin store.  They had a lot of cool trinkety stuff and t-shirts there, but none of us were really in the mood for that.

Dan and Marv really needed some tools for diving before we left for Truk, so we trudged around and asked some locals for directions, but finally found a hardware store.  A few things that we saw along the way:

Dan had to get a pic of the boat, of course!

Needed this pic for reference, for when we move to Palau and need a home! ;)

I think alcoholism is a problem in Palau.

This was a banana tree.

After the guys got their tools, we went into some more shops.  One thing that Palauns are famous for is crafting storyboards.  They are these old legends that are carved beautifully out of wood.  We saw a bunch of them in almost every store we went in, and really wanted to get one.  We continued out, thinking about whether or not we should get one to remember our Palaun love story by.

We had heard that the best place to buy storyboards was at the Prison.  Apparently, there is a prison giftshop, and the inmates carve storyboards.  So, we just kept walking until we found it.

Entering the prison was kinda interesting, because the guards had to lock one door, and then open another.  And, as I stood there waiting to go into the next locked room, I glanced to my right and happened to be standing about 10 feet from the prisoners locker room and they were all taking showers.  I quickly averted my eyes and hoped no one had seen me!!

Anyway, the storyboards there were totally amazing, and Dan and I found one we really liked.  It was one of the scuba tanks in the top right corner of the pic.  But, we didn't have enough cash on us to buy it, so we figured we could come back later that day and buy it, since they were open til 6pm.

After leaving the prison, we walked over to Bem Ermii, a hamburger stand and got a little treat.  The owner was hanging out, and we talked to him for a bit and he told us about life in Palau.  I kinda dragged everyone to Bem Ermii because I really wanted to go there and get a t-shirt for Stef.  I think she was a Bem Ermii junky when they lived there, and it was fun.  They all put up with me in good humor!

Dan really wanted to go to the Red Rooster brewery for some authentic Red Rooster T-shirts, so we started walking that direction.  We asked several people along the way which direction to go.  It was after noon by this time and HOT and we were kinda dragging, so just hoping to get there as soon as possible so we could relax.  Unfortunately, we finally get to Red Rooster...and of course, it's closed for rennovations!!

So, we called our cab and went back to Sam's for lunch and to buy more diving t-shirts!!

As the afternoon went on, Dan and I decided we wanted to buy the storyboard we found.  We found Tom and told him about the prison and he said he wanted to come into town later to check it out, so he'd come with us.  We decided to do a quick snorkle in the lagoon outside of the resort and then we'd shower and meet up with Tom at 5 to head back to the prison to buy our storyboard and then eat dinner somewhere.

Outside the resort, there was a beach and a little lagoon, and in the lagoon there was a Japanese Zero plane from WWII that had crashed there.  It was just a short swim out and about 10 feet down so we wanted to see it and get some pics.

We found it, took a few dives down and took some pics and decided to call it a day.  We were gung ho to get back to the prison and get our storyboard.

So, Dan got up on shore first, where a Japanese family of four happened to have been playing for hours.  All of the sudden he started screaming, and of course I was like, WHAT THE HELL???  He started shrieking that he'd stepped on a stonefish.  Now, I don't know my fish all that well, but I do know that a stonefish sting is not good and people die from them.  All my emergency first responder skills flew out the window and I frantically called Marv in his room and told him to come down and help us.  Actually, the only first aid thing that went through my mind was wondering whether I should pee on him, like they do on Friends!!!  During this time Dan continued to squeeze the venom out of his foot and there were some folks sitting down by the beach from Austrailia, where stings of this nature are common, who suggested we soak it in vinegar.  The hotel staff brought some out and he soaked his foot for awhile.  He said it was feeling better, but the hotel said they'd take us to the hospital.  And since we were headed to Truk that night, which is kind of remote and not super modern, we decided to take advantage of what we could in Palau.

So, Dan and I hopped in the car to go to the hospital.  On the way, Dan is feeling better and is starting to freak out that we aren't going to get our storyboard, and suggests maybe I just go buy it and he'll just go to the hospital and see what that brings.  I thought that would be a pretty crappy thing for a newly engaged person to do to their finacee, so I went with him to the hospital instead.  I figured even if he ended up being fine, that was probably something I would never live down.  He was feeling a bit better about things though, as he and Marv had determined that what he'd stepped on was not a stonefish, but a scorpianfish.  Which, although poisenous, not as much as the stonefish.

We walk into the Palaun ER and someone came to talk to us right away and determined that he wasn't going to die, and they said we had to wait because they had another emergency.  Turns out that this 20 something year old guy was beaten up by his uncle and his shoulder was dislocated and he had a big gash in his head.  I also think he might have been on drugs.  We weren't feeling like such an emergency after we saw that.  In the meantime, we sit and fill out paperwork, and it's almost 5:30.  Dan continues to freak out about the storyboard, so I called up Marv and Jo and asked them if we could borrow money from them and if they'd go back to the prison and buy our storyboard.  They said why yes of course, and went and did it.  It was SO NICE of them!!

Dan got treated a few minutes later.  The doc talked to him for a while, and determined that the stinger wasn't imbedded in his foot, and the poisen hadn't spread beyond the bottom of his foot.  So, he soaked it iodine for a long time.  And then we paid $75 and left and got back to the hotel shortly after 6.  So much for our relaxing!!  Dan's foot was sore for probably the rest of the trip, but other than that, he's fine.  Unfortunately I have no pictures of our ER room visit to share, but it was really quite nice.

We went over to Big Drop off at Neco Marine for some final Red Roosters and dinner and then tried to catch a few hours of sleep before we had to leave the hotel at midnight.  The night sky was absolutely beautiful that night.

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