Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original text:
Kri is my new paradise. It is a small island located in Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia. I lived there like a princess, a short week.
Bungalow facing the sea. White sand and deserted beach. Intense light, sifted by the palms of coconut palms and other trees whose name I do not know. Welcome to Soriday Bay on Kri Island. My new paradise!
At the end of the pontoon, there is a blue hole, formed by a huge ring of coral.
Opposite, a sandbar, which appears and disappears with the tides. Sometimes a boat docked there and disembarked its passengers, tourists or fishermen. We think we see people walking on the water.
In the axis of the sandbank, there is an island flanked by a hut in the local fashion, made of braided coconut leaves, which serves as shelter. On the horizon, a mountainous line, often hemmed in with clouds, which swell with rain throughout the day.
No noise. Just the gentle surf of the sea, the murmur of the trees agitated by the sea breeze, the sizzling of the insects and the songs of birds.
Yes, life is hard ...
Of Black Manta at Kri Island
Return to March 5, 2012. My cruise-diving on the Black Manta is over, but I will not go back to Sorong with the other divers. I do not take the plane the next day like them, no! Me, I stay in Raja Ampat!
I organized everything before leaving. Five-six days on a boat, it seemed very short for an exceptional destination like Raja Ampat ... Leaving to go so far, even to break my piggy bank, as much to last a little pleasure! So I decided to extend the stay, but on the ground, in a resort.
I reorganize my bardas (clothes, camera gear, dive bag), before saying goodbye to Miyo, my super "buddy" dive, that I'm still a little sad to leave. Then I hasten to distribute many "hugs" to the Americans forming the rest of the group of divers.
I have a light heart, a smile to my ears. I am so, so happy to be able to stay a little longer in this incredible archipelago!
I embark on the annex where the staff has already deposited my bags. Cedric, our "cruise-leader" launches engines. I gaily shake hands towards others, who stay on the Black Manta. Cape on Kri Island!
I am a princess
I booked at Papua Diving, at Kri Island Resort. But it is closed for the week, for various maintenance work. No big deal ... Instead, I'll stay at much more classy Sorido Bay Resort neighbour ! ! !
Yes. I was "upgraded" gracefully because both resorts have the same owner. A Dutchman by the name of Max Ammer, "pioneer" of Raja Ampat diving. A character, an adventurer, an incredible storyteller, settled there for twenty years, and I had the pleasure of meeting during my stay.
I learned the good news about the resort change on the Black Manta, by Cédric. Papua Diving sent a message on his mobile phone, to warn me. At first, I think that Cédric makes a joke, that he jokes. But no.
He makes me read the message: I will really stay at Sorido Bay Resort! The class. I can not believe how lucky I am. It's a princess resort. The kind of resort where I did not imagine setting foot one day. The kind of resort that did not fit into my budget, even swollen up with my big piggy bank breakup.
The kind of resort where there is all the comfort that can dream a fighter weighted fragile technological equipment and practicing underwater photography: huge air-conditioned bungalow, with work plan arranged for rinsing the waterproof case and provided with electrical outlets to recharge the batteries, hot shower, king-size bed, wifi, fridge, safety-box, staff to care ... Raaaahhh ...
Short. I feel like a princess by stepping on the dock at Sorido Bay Resort. And I'm welcomed as a princess by the adorable Jimmy and Julia, the managers, a couple of thirties, themselves divers, who teach me another good news: I'm the only customer, that week, to dive!
Apart from my little one, there is only one family of Dutch expats, who only snorkel (fins-mask-snorkel). So I will have a guide for me alone under the water and it is I who will decide the program of the day ...
I just love it ! ! ! ????
I am a princess, really. Besides, it's not the first time. Last summer, already, in Komodo, I had been more than polite, with a cruise ship for me alone: Read → My princess boat
Jimmy is Belgian by origin and speaks very good French. Julia is German and understands it as well. The time of my stay, our conversations will be half in English, half French. They have been managers for other luxury resorts around the world, including the Maldives and Seychelles. Indonesian Papua is a new experience for them, a new challenge.
Jimmy and Julia are a nice couple, open, warm. I get along very well with them right away.
Since there are not many people this week, they come regularly to dive with me. Natan, who is from the area, is my guide for most dives. With him, I feel safe under water, I can take my photos quietly. He has an eye on everything!
After Miyo and Cedric, on the Black MantaSo I'm still making new friends here on Kri Island ... I often say, solo trip is not synonymous with loneliness, on the contrary!
Luxury, calm and voluptuousness
Obviously, this princess stay was an enchanted parenthesis. A dream. Enjoy all the modern comfort or almost, in the middle of this wild archipelago, is an unheard of luxury. So I savor, blissfully.
Luxury, calm and pleasure ... I am ecstatic, every morning, on the fabulous view that I discover since "my" beach.
To take pictures, I venture once barefoot on the pontoon, until the burning wooden slats heated by the sun forces me to run ... Ouch, always put his flip-flops to go on the pontoon!
Fortunately, the coralline sand of the beach, so white, so fine, never burns his feet.
At low tide, the extent of the immense reef protecting the island is better measured. I contemplate, fascinated, the coral outcropping, flush with the surface.
We see schools of small fish playing around the pillars, perfectly visible from the pontoon. Juvenile batfish live here, at the edge of the blue hole, they are at the same place every day.
Every evening, after the dives, I give myself a moment of rest in my hammock, on the terrace of my bungalow, facing the sea, while the light decreases. I then join the main building, at the time of the aperitif and I offer myself a Bintang, the Indonesian beer. There is a living room with sofa and armchairs where you can sit and read or chat. I show the Dutch my photos of the day before dinner, taken together at the big table of the restaurant ... We sympathize.
It rained every day, I think. But most often at the end of the day. And I love the cool tropical raindrops drumming on the leafy roofs of the resort. I gradually get used to the weird chuckles and squeaks that come out of the foliage of the trees and the jungle around us.
Sometimes a monitor of fairly good size comes rode near the bungalows. One night, Jimmy, with a flashlight, managed to show me a couscous, those funny fur and long-tailed animals of the marsupial family that live in the trees.
I only stayed a short week on Kri Island. But these few days of relaxation and diving, in the middle of a still virgin, unspoiled nature, left me with a dazzled memory. I have only one desire & #160 ;: return to Raja Ampat !