Sometimes an experience or memory is too beautiful to tell any other way than a story! This memory is a few years back on an island called 'Lifou'.
Gently rocked awake by the calm waters of the bay, I was filled with eager excitement. Climbing out of bed and onto the deck I was greeted by a glorious quintessential Island morning.
The sun hung low in the clear blue sky, dispersing through the last two remaining clouds it leaked golden flecks and lit up the Island. My gaze drifted from the sky to the land. An endearing little wharf drew my eye-line in and towards the palm tree lined shore. The water reflected the warmth of the morning sun, sparkling and dancing with enticing enchantment.
I packed my bags with everything I thought the day might bring, and then some. Don’t let the size of this island fool you, there is beauty and treasure around each corner. Arriving at the wharf I relished the sound of feet hitting solid ground and breathed a deep breath of Sweet Lifou Island air.
Right behind the first curtain of trees laid some huts and island locals. The little girls in their tightly braided dark hair and little white sarongs hid shyly behind their mothers and giggled sweetly. A simple smile and wave seemed to break every language and culture barrier. I felt immediately that I loved this Island and this day long before 9am.
After receiving a quick palm tree-climbing lesson from one of the locals (which ended up with us both in stitches) I ventured through the dirt paths overhung by rich greenery and thick rainforest. We were told that on the other side of the island on the high tide was the best for snorkelling.
The path led to an opening and we walked through in a silence created by awe and wonder. In front of me lay stairs leading to the big blue hue, I followed them like a woman under a spell.
White sand squirmed through my toes as I waded out into the bay in earnest expectation. Alone and still above the surface, yet a bustling world below. Allowing the water to completely consume and saturate me I gazed through the frame of my snorkels at the colourful world of the deep blue.
I couldn’t possibly name all the breeds of fish, colours, coral and life I saw, namely because I simply don’t know what they are called and also, I fear it would take up this entire article.
After hours of exploration I trekked back through the dusty tracks; feet dirty, skin salty, heart full and a huge smile on my face. And instead of taking the track back to the white sandy beach I saw another track leading up to the top of the hill and decided to take the path less travelled.
Making my way up, I saw a red roof poking through the pines. Breathless I panted at the top, the climb well worth the treasure. There before me was a beautiful little church that overlooked most of the island.
I pictured the locals commuting here on a Sunday, echoes of deep strong island voices filling the air, mothers and children dancing with jubilee. I thought to myself ‘Oh if only you could store memories instead of things little church’.
Looking at the time it was 1pm; I wondered what else I would find and what lay ahead.
Sweet island Lifou you hold many a treasure!