Sunday, July 15, 2012

Con Dao Island


Since our air conditioner was on the arctic tundra setting all night every one was up early and ready to go.  We went for a Monday brunch at one of the local roadside restaurants.  We were having a bit of trouble conveying what we wanted when Tony, the owner of Rainbow Divers- the company we planned to do our scuba diving with later in the day- rocked up and came to our rescue.  He even let Heggie jump on the back of his moto and took her to the market to grab some fruit when the restaurant didn't have any.

Afterwards we strolled around the town admiring all the beautiful little houses, walked the road above the shoreline and toured the area where the prisons used to be- up until a few years ago the island was strictly a military base and no visitors were allowed.  Things are changing very rapidly there, with plans to build a new harbor, so in a few more years it will probably be unrecognizable as the quiet little place that we visited.










Pretty soon it was time to head to the dock to meet our scuba instructors from Rainbow Divers.  I was super excited about this because there had been a bit of a debacle with my scuba certification training before I left and I had not been able to do any open water dives & when I emailed to see if I could do 2 of the 4 needed in Con Dao they initially said no.  But it all worked out and it was such an amazing experience to be swimming along the ocean floor, looking at all these fish and coral- and breathing!  It's mind blowing that something like that is even possible, let alone accessible to me.  We did one dive and took a break for fruit and sun back on the boat.  Then we did a second dive where I had to do a bunch of skills in the beginning so he could sign off on them in my logbook & then did some more exploring.






At the end of the dive they let us take turns jumping off the top of the boat and into the water which was pretty awesome as well.  When it was time to head back, we climbed up to the top and watched the sunset from the deck chairs as we sailed back to shore.





Back at the hotel, where we now had two rooms (one of them still with the makeshift California King) we got cleaned up for dinner.  Tara, Marissa, and I were in hot pursuit of some Pho so we walked up the street a bit and checked out a couple local restaurants.  Either what we were saying was unrecognizable in Vietnamese, or they don't get down with Pho on this island because no matter how we pronounced it or how hard we looked for it on the menu, it remained elusive and the language barrier prevented us from discovering what the deal was.  So we settled for some more pan fried noodles & vegetables and morning glory, which tho not Pho, was still pretty satisfying.

After that there wasn't much else to do but head for bed, as nightlife is pretty lacking here, which actually works out for the best since we're trying to get up early and do a hike tomorrow morning before we fly out.

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