It’s a picture perfect paradise here with sandy beaches shaded by coconut trees and a whole other wonderful world under the water. I’ve done almost as much snorkeling as kayaking, partly to cool off from the intense heat which has reached 37 degrees centigrade - a lot for a girl who lives in Wales!
A highlight came when we saw 3 manta rays feeding on the surface. I slid into the water with my mask and snorkel on and enjoyed watching the graceful swoop of them arcing past me with their giant mouth open.
We’ve camped a few nights and staying in local ‘homestays’, simple huts on the waterfront with a mattress covered in a pink mosquito net - so far they have all been pink! It’s great to see traditional culture thriving here. Most of the boats that go past us are long wooden dugouts with wooden outriggers, and most people are harvesting their food from the land.
We’re now heading off on the ‘expedition proper’,crossing back to the north coast of Papua and heading east towards the border with Papua New Guinea. I’ll get as far as I can before I need to fly home, then make my way to one of several small airports.
Justine is keeping the sun at bay with Kokatat’s destination sun protective paddling apparel, wearing the destination hand covers, paddling shirt, capri and cap.
"The first week has been spent paddling in beautiful Raja Ampat."