Heaven on Earth

I found heaven today. I'm still in awe of the beauty here and sometimes I have a hard time believing it's real. We chartered a boat for another day of island hopping and it was complete magic. Upon pulling up to the entrance of Barracudda Lake it looks similar to most other islands we've been to; giant rock formations and crystal clear ocean. This time we stepped off the boat onto some wooden stairs that appeared to cut right in between two of the rocks. Walk up about 10 steps, turn a corner, and the most breathtaking view comes in to sight. It's a cerulean blue fresh water lake enclosed in rock in the middle of the ocean. What's better is that it's completely empty. Our own private oasis. None of us could believe our eyes and the 100-watt smiles permanently stained our faces. Having spent so many days swimming in the overly salty water, the fresh water of the lake was so crisp and refreshing. I remember floating on my back in the middle of the lake and actually having the thought that I could die right then and there and be perfectly happy. It was that amazing. We climbed up jagged rocks and took turns cannon balling into the water. All of us giddy with amazement. I really never wanted to leave.

But alas, we had 4 more stops so I had to kiss Barracudda Lake goodbye and hop back on the water chariot and onto the next one. Kayungan Lake was very similar to Barracudda but is more well known so it was crowded with tourists in bright orange life vests and not quite as enjoyable (although still incredible). Plus there were no cool rocks to dive off. Next was Twin !agoon, a salt water lagoon accessed by swimming through an opening under the rocks during low tide. The water temperature changes from warm to cold every couple of feet and little black fish swim up and nibble at your toes. After the lagoon we went to Skeleton Wreck, a small shipwreck close to shore. I was completely uninterested in the wreck, I was far too fascinated by the swarms of striped fish swimming in a cloud around me. It was surreal being suspended in the water with hundreds of little fish swimming all around me, and the craziest part is that not one of them ever touched me.

We finished the day with an hour laying on the beach and watched the sunset from the boat as we approached the shore. Today was absolutely magical and I'm going to sleep a very happy and grateful girl.

Molly Rose