The next morning we go for a jungle walk, and then over to the resort next door – Kri Eco Resort. On the way we are hoping to find some birds. Our path takes us past the hut where our host Max Ammer is building not one, but three helicopters. He’s a flying nut; having built a sea plane, he nearly killed himself in a crash. So now it’s helicopters. Three helicopters are clearly better than one: the place is so remote, breakdowns can take a long time to repair, assuming you can buy parts anywhere remotely ‘local’. Scavenging parts from three is a more efficient way of staying airborne. And in most cases, aerial footage gives a better idea of the magnificence of this place than a photo can.
There are no birds to be seen in the clearing for the runway, so we carry on along a peaty track which proves the better of some of us – my left butt takes a hit as I go into an unrecoverable slide. My concern is more for the cameras than for my gluteous maximus. White trousers are soon brown, and the whole party ends up being somewhat sullied as we climb back down the other side of the hill, using a rope at one stage to almost abseil down a particularly slippery section. We all make it in no more than one piece each, so it’s all good. A short stroll along level ground takes us to Kri eco-resort, where Dr G wants to use his drone to video the area. I meet a local dog and of course cannot resist making friends. Skittish at first, we soon relax with each other and play pretend chase and he canters away.
Just as I am washing the sand off my feet, and that deposited on the pristine jetty by some of my companions, a group of people approach, and a young woman accosts me. The ensuing conversation is clearly not satisfactory to her…..
“Hello, can I help you?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Where are you from?”
“I’m with Geoff”
“Who is Geoff?”
“He’s along there, he’s the researcher.”
“I am the resort manager.”
Oooops. A rather miffed resort manager (RM) stalks off to accost Geoff about who we are and what right do we have for being there.
Having done my duty on the sand-cleanup-operation, I join the rest, and we are assured by RM that we are welcome, she just needs to know when to expect people and then everything is fine. They are understandably territorial when one considers that there are dive operators who drop in on established sites with not even a by-your-leave.
Our walk back is along the shoreline, past the private cottages built on stilts out over the water, with a balcony and lounge chairs on the deck. It also includes a wade through thigh-deep water, holding our valuables above our heads. The water is bath temperature, and a refreshing change from the humidity of the air. I take my leave of doggie, who seems mournful – I hear him later howling behind us, though it may have nothing whatever to do with our new friendship.
Over the next day we snorkel and wade a lot. Another jaunt over to Kri resort through the water for a sunset, and this time we are more prepared – dry bags for the cameras, and wading shoes that don’t mind getting wet. We manage to spot the resident Cus Cus – no, not a dish for the table but a marsupial :
The dry bag was a good idea – at one point on my return journey I am unbalanced by a rock and turn turtle (pardon the pun). My companions are concerned about my welfare; my only concern: is the bag really dry?!!