It’s rather embarrassing to admit that until recently I had never heard of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. But then why would I, they’re a tiny group of coral atolls in the Indian ocean, 26 in all, on the other side of the world, 1700 miles and two time zones to the west of Perth, Australia. The highest elevation is only 16 feet.
So here I am back in rainy Atlanta drooling over the amazing photographs of these exotic jewels in the magnificent Indian ocean and questioning (once again) why I made the decision to stay here.
Daisy arrived in the Islands sometime yesterday. I’ve yet to hear from anyone on the boat, but then having looked at photographs of Cocos online, I’m thinking I may never hear from them, it’s quite possible that they may all decide to end the circumnavigation right there, the islands look unbelievably exquisite.
The diving and snorkeling opportunities are supposed to be fabulous, with thousands (yes literally thousands) of sea turtles and reef sharks hanging out in the lagoon. And I know that having just got their diving licenses, Edi and Danni will be chomping at the bit to get into the water as soon as they can, so there probably won’t be much time for calling Mum! I’m not even sure whether they have Internet there, I may have to wait until they reach Mauritius before I hear from them again.
Cocos (Keeling) Islands are possibly the most remote islands Daisy has ever visited, they’re an Australian external territory, a six hour flight from Perth, with a 50 minute fuel stop on Christmas Island. Not exactly an easy (or cheap) location for a vacation.
In terms of geography, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands consist of two flat, low-lying coral atolls, of which only two islands are inhabited, West Island (Pulau Panjang) and Home Island (Palau Selma). West Island is home to the regions airport. When I saw the airport my immediate thought was how quickly could I get there? OK, I’m kidding, well actually not kidding about wanting to go, but the next leg of Daisy’s journey (that is if they leave!) is the long, really long one to Mauritius, that’s a crossing I do not wish to be part of.
I’m sure my family and crew will be busy with their cameras and dive gear, I just hope they take the chance to explore a little of the other islands; North Keeling Island is home to the only surviving population of the endemic, and endangered, Cocos Buff-banded Rail, a cute little bird that looks a little like a cross between a pigeon and a quail, locally known as Ayam Hutan (Chicken of the Forest)!
I’m sure I’ll hear something from the “crazies” before too long, if only by email, so keep checking back for more news.
Click on this link to see the lovely Cocos (Keeling) Islands: (or copy and paste if the link doesn’t work)