Most of our days were pretty much the same. Astrid was up fairly early (since she is a toddler and they apparently don’t like their parents to sleep while on holidays). She was up even earlier than she normally is at home, sigh. It was hot, light and exciting though so who can blame her. Once we were up and Astrid had wandered into Granny and Gramps’ room for some milk and stories we headed down to breakfast and had a nice hot meal and some coffee.
The first 4 days Anto and my dad were off on boat dives. The dives tended to leave in the morning, the time was a bit dependent on the tides but they often left straight after breakfast. Astrid enjoyed waving goodbye to Dad and Gramps as they headed out on the boat.
While there was decent (if not spectacular) snorkeling straight off the resort Astrid wasn’t keen on being watched by the nanny’s so my mum and I tended to play with her in the morning around the resort and either take it in turns to go for a snorkel or have a snorkel in the arvo once the boys came back. We had a nanny included as part of our package (which we suspected we wouldn’t use), and all the nannies were lovely but Astrid is not fond of people she doesn’t know well and didn’t really take to them. She was happy to play with the nanny as long as we were around but it never progressed past that point! I kind of expected this, so wasn’t disappointed but it would have been nice if she had of loved the nanny. She did play with the kids of the resort owners and their friends some days and seem to enjoy that, so I suspect if there had of been more kids around we would have seen less of her.
Most mornings we wandered the grounds of the resort and played on the grass and drew in the sand and swam in the pool. It generally wasn’t hard to fill in a couple of hours when you had all this space to run around in and it was lovely and warm.
The scores of tropical fish that liked to hang out off the edge of the Island liked to be fed by the guests so most days we collected left over bread from the kitchen and went down for fish feeding. Astrid particularly loved when one of us was in snorkeling and she could get the fish to swim around us.
We also played with the resort dogs, Beethoven and Brownie who were very friendly and loved nothing more than hanging out with guests between laying around sunning themselves.
After a nice lunch Astrid normally had a sleep for a couple of hours and we took it in turns to watch her while the other had a snorkel or spa treatment. The resort had quite a nice spa and it was reasonably priced. I took advantage and had a massage, facial and pedicure. The day I had my pedicure we were sitting outside with this view:
Hard to beat!
The boys were generally back in the arvos and we tended to do some snorkeling while they played with Astrid. We also hung out in the pool and visited the resident birds, snake and lizard and played in the gardens some more.
Some afternoons there were organised activities. We (the girls) got roped into coconut basket weaving one afternoon. Astrid was better at it in than we were! We also watched coconut husking demonstrations that seemed to involve large machetes!
Then it was usually time to dry off and watch the sunset from our verandah before dinner.
We generally wandered down to pre-dinner drinks at about 5.30 and chatted to other hotel guests and the staff and let Astrid have a run around. Then we’d have dinner and take Astrid back to our room and get her off to sleep. Like most small resorts it is dark and quiet at night and with no TVs or internet there wasn’t much to do so we would have a game of cards or 3 with drinks (or at least coffee for me). Some nights (usually the theme nights) there was entertainment after dinner with the staff band, dancers or Kava night. I usually went back to the room with Astrid but sometimes the boys participated, but after the first Kava night they opted for cards the next time around!
Once they had completed all their boat dives, the boys did some shore dives off the resort (and a night dive) but we had a bit more time to do things with them during the day. One day we headed out on kayaks to find a nearby black sand beach. Four adults, a toddler and bunch of snorkeling gear in some kayaks should be easy right? Not so much. There were 3 kayaks, 1 double and 2 singles. After establishing that putting Astrid in the double with me and Anto made it too heavy and unwieldy we elected to have her go with Anto in a single, me in the other single with some gear and my parents in the double with the rest of the gear. Lets just say I wish I had of gotten photos of my parents capsizing their kayak before even leaving the jetty! It was quite funny.
In the end Anto was able to easily paddle with Astrid, who seemed to enjoy the experience, and they ended up miles ahead of me. I did OK. I’ve kayaked before but the current and growing bump made it more challenging than I remembered. My parents lagged a long, long, long way behind, and were lucky to not be divorced by the time we reached the beach. We had quite a nice snorkel and play on the beach and saw several things we hadn’t seen before snorkeling around the resort.
A storm coming in meant we headed back. Anto went back with Astrid in the double kayak, with some of the gear. I took most of the rest of the gear in my single and my mother paddled the other single back with my dad snorkeling along behind. It wasn’t actually a bad snorkel as I’d been most of the way down there the previous day myself and while they probably almost ended killing each other again we were so far ahead we didn’t hear the fights.
The next day Anto and Astrid went out for another paddle around the resort, so I could get some better photos as I hadn’t wanted to take my good camera out on the kayaks the day before (and a good thing too given everything ended up in the drink with the capsize, although the dry bags did their job).
Here are a final few photos of us enjoying our time at Paradise. I’ll do a separate post on the diving and snorkeling with some pics as again this post is way to long!!