Raja Ampat – the gem of the Pacific Ocean

We set off that morning in high spirits. We started walking towards the pier after being assured it was less than 500m down the road. However after what seemed like hours of walking in the mid-day heat we caved and flagged down a little microlet, piling in all our backpacks and just managing to squeeze ourselves in too. The micolet turned the corner and promptly stopped. We were here. And then he took 10,000 rupiah off us!

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The stressful, seemingly never-ending journey to Raja Ampat is undoubtedly worth it. The isolated islands are a string of gems in the Pacific Ocean. The little beach huts we have installed ourselves in are idyllic. A tropical jungle rises up sharply behind our huts, while the beach and sea stretch out just metres from our front door. It is here that we have mastered the art of doing thing and becoming exhausted by it.

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We just about manage to do one thing a day, which is diving. The diving here is renowned for being some of the best in the world. And it shows in some of the sealife that we’ve seen; wobbegong sharks, manta rays, seahorses, bumphead fish, the list is endless! After one of the dives we stopped off on what we thought was a deserted island to have lunch. While we were there we stumbled across these two men (pictured below). We discovered that one of them was the owner of the island, and he and his friend were building beach huts. They had no water, no working toilets and absolutely no contact with the outside world. A boat came once a week and you could pay Β£15 a night to stay there – and slowly go mad.

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