Dhigurah Impressions

With a population of nearly 600, Dhigurah was far less populous than the other islands.  However at 3.5km in length and 250 meters wide.  It was far bigger.  Most buildings and people were concentrated in a one kilometer stretch in the north part of the island.  There were 12 guesthouses with 5 more being built.

Hiking

I wanted to explore the island so I started out late in the afternoon when we arrived.  My goal was to make it to the tip and back.  A single sandy road wove through Dhigurah’s narrow agricultural farms — all covered by nets to protect them from the fruit bats on the island.  The road narrowed to a scooter path filled with puddles from frequent tropical rain.  Waterhens and changeable lizards were everywhere.

Changeable Lizards vary their color.

Soon the trees disappeared, and the trail ended.  I followed footprints to the beach and the trail reconnected down the beach a ways.  I soon emerged at club-med-like beach.  There was a bar, toilets, and a volleyball net.  Cruise ships stop at this picnic area to create BBQ and picnic experiences for tourists.  I continued walking south along the beach to the point.

A picture at the southern tip of Dhagurah during last light.  Which means 3-4KM of trail through island rainforest.  A big rookie mistake!  I made it back, but I was nervous more than once on the way back.

By now it was dark, and I realized that I now had to return.  I figured I’d walk along the beach.  I rationalized to myself: “It’s a small island how lost could I get?”  However, walking back along the beach wasn’t possible as the trees extended over the high tide mark and the reef came in under the trees.  I headed back and took the trail back, in the dark.  I jumped at each low hanging branch that hit me, and totally freaked out when a bat brushed up against me (oh right I startled it).  My feet sank and slipped through the frequent muddy-sandy puddles.  It wasn’t “getting lost” that made me nervous, it was all the creepy-crawly-flying things that I kept bumping into that made me nervous — getting lost wasn’t the problem.   I finally made it back.  It certainly didn’t look that far on the map!

Snorkeling

We had to hike down the island to find the good snorkeling spot.  We saw fish immediately as we hit water.  We saw many of the same types of fish that we saw in the last two location.  With barely any current and more pronounced reef structures, we enjoyed this site a little more.

Giant Clam
Pink Whiptail Stingrays
Elegant Unicorn Fish

Round 2

I went again with the family.  This time, we went after snorkeling.  Due to the distance and everyone being tired from swimming, we took a tuk tuk there.  The tuk tuk dropped us off close to the end, and we had to walk the last kilometer.

Our tuk tuk rode through the island rainforest.  The path was just wide enough for the tuk tuk.

 

After dropping us off it began to rain.  Rain in the tropics is heavier, and the humidity makes the rain drops fall faster.  Needless to say it was very wet.  There was no beautiful sky.  No sunsets or sparkly blue water in the sunshine.  The wind whipped the rain against our skin as we walked out on the sandbar and back.

It’s not evident from the picture, but its pouring rain

 

At the lowest of tides, a sand bar joins Dhigurah with a private island to the South.

Back at the end of the road we waited, dripping wet in the rain.  We started to walk back. Trading barbs about our foibles and faults (mostly mine).  Our feet squished the sandy mud, and the girls laughed the whole way.  Eventually the driver in the tuk tuk ran into us half way home and took our soaking bodies back to our room.  Would it have been better if it wasn’t raining?  Sure, but what else would we do in paradise on rainy day?  It was a great family adventure that I’m sure we’ll remember.

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