Picnic on Paradise Island

We were going to visit an island to watch the whales and have a picnic today.  We drove to Schooners Trail and walked along the boardwalk through the rainforest.

We found lots of big trees (but no rainforest monkeys, to the disappointment of the girls but we did point out we were on the wrong continent for those!)  We were on the look out for the special Banana slugs that are an inhabitant of the forests, but no sign of those either.

The trees here are different to Yosemite in that over time they break down (the ones in Yosemite don’t as they taste too bitter for the insects to eat!) and other trees grow on top of the fallen trees, making for a mishmash of roots, old trees and new trees which is amazing.

This is the beach we came out on at the end of the trail.  Long Beach is to the left of here but we went right, heading towards the islands. The sea fog that was hanging around outside our cabin that morning had spread to Schooners Cove, where we thought we would be able to spot the whales.  In fact, the sea fog was so thick, the whale spotting island was difficult to spot!  It’s the one in the distance…

Time for a new plan then.  Luckily the girls decided this island:

should be called Paradise Island and it was the perfect place to have lunch!

We wandered back along the beach after lunch (which the girls didn’t eat – too busy looking out for pirates and trespassers!) and the Big One built a wooden structure out of bits of drift wood.  She also found a piece of driftwood that looked like a baby seal, which we will be bringing home.

Then we spotted an island which needed exploring:

The tide was coming in by now so we had to paddle across to it.

But the exploring was short – the volcanic rock was not a comfortable climb.

Once the sand ran out we had to turn back.  Also, the tide was coming in fast and getting too close to our shoes left on the beach.

We did see some of the largest mussels we’d ever seen though – as big as my hand!

We’ll look for whales another day…

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