|Lunch! - Fried Prawn Noodle|
This time we weren't alone on the beach, but with only 20 villas total on the entire island, nothing's ever crowded. Soon Sophia and Cooper were playing with a few other kids, and like a scene from Survivor or Lost, they were constructing balance beams across the tidepools with fallen palm trees. The whole scene was hysterical to watch.
After a long day in the sun, we enjoyed another unbelievable dinner (Thai Chili Chicken Salad and Beef Rendang for me). With the kids in bed, we pulled a daybed from the patio to the beach where Kara saw about 20 shooting stars in 4 minutes....which all turned out to be birds flying through a nearby spotlight. (you had to be there, it was funny).
On our final day at Batu Batu, we rented three kayaks to go on "turtle patrol". The island is a marine preserve with a huge part of their mission focused on supporting the breeding of green sea turtles. After only three minutes of paddling we came across a huge turtle - at least 3 feet across - followed by a couple of smaller ones about five minutes later. Sophia was in heaven.
We traveled about a third of the way around the island before Cooper told me he wanted to keep going ALL THE WAY AROUND the island. This was a great idea - especially if you were simply enjoying the ride as Sophia and Cooper were - but not such a great idea if you're the one who has to paddle! We tried it anyway and were glad we did. On the far side of the island, it was deserted. A few small, untouched beaches were there as well as some amazing views of the forest and rock cliffs unreachable unless you hike and have a machete.
Finally, we made it back to the resort, glad to have made it all the way around the island, but even happier to relax in the cool pool and enjoy a cold drink. Our boat ride back to Mersing and eventually Singapore was only a few hours away, so we did our best to soak in as much of Batu Batu as we could in the time we had left. The kids hunted for more shells and played in the pool and Jennifer, Kara and I relaxed and enjoyed the sun.
Eventually, however, all good things come to an end - and so did our trip to Batu Batu. After another 20 minutes on the boat we met our driver in Mersing and headed back to Singapore. This time, we saw dozens of monkeys along the road. Apparently they had slept in on Thursday morning when we drove by the same areas at 8am, but they were everywhere on Saturday evening.