Monday, January 12, 2004

Washington Park Adventure

Having successfully found Freddie Flamingo, we decided on Saturday to enter the wilds of the Washington-Slacbai National Park and look for Barry Barracuda.

The dirt roads in the park have deteriorated during the rainy season and some of the hills were honest to goodness four wheel drive territory. Even going up in first gear, Richard had to hang onto Nancy so she wouldn't bounce right out of the car.

We checked out the snorkeling at Barcadera, but the waves were too big at the entry point. Playa Benge was ok and we saw lots of neat stuff out on the tongue and groove coral formations. Benge is cool because snorkelers can see types of coral that normally live in deeper water because of the way the coral ridges come up close to the surface. Here is a photo of Richard and Nancy in action.

We also stopped at Wajaka II, where there is a little beachlet and lots of calm shallow water to mosey around in. It's a great spot for beginning snorkelers. This is where we finally caught up with Barry Barracuda. He was about 3 to 3 and a half feet long and starting to get chunky. Unfortunately, the water was a little too murky for pictures, tho we tried. Barry was quite content to just hang there in the water posing for us. We also saw a couple flounders doing their blend in with the sand thing.

The buildings at Slac Bai looked great. They have been repaired after being heavily damaged by the swells from hurricane Lenny a few years ago. I think the official re-opening will be coming up soon.

We double checked at the gate and one can now tour the park by bicycle, without a lot of extra red tape. Previously one had to be in a group with a chase vehicle, spare wheels, etc. I'm planning to add some trips to the park to my Saturday morning long bike ride schedule.

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