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Three Perfect Days: Palau

Author Jacqueline Detwiler Photography Whitney Tressel

Waitresses at Elilai Restaurant

Picture 11 of 13

AS THE WORLD INCREASINGLY retreats into an echo chamber of car horns and email alerts, it’s nice to know that somewhere in the middle of the Pacific there’s a whole nation of smiling, slightly salt-frosted people deftly navigating speedboats around idyllic islands, pausing here and there to lop the tops off of coconuts or admire a well-formed brain coral. That’s not to say Palauans never have a tough day at the office, but in general this 300-island-plus archipelago feels insulated from the clamor of modern life.

This feeling stems in large part from the exceedingly low ratio of concrete buildings to half-hidden lagoons and sighing palm groves, but also from the influence of Palauans themselves. One of the most close-knit populations on earth, they still hold traditional festivals to provide money and support for neighbors with newborns.

As Palau increasingly becomes known for more than the diving meccas that made it famous, however, one can only hope that the country’s track record of ecological preservation will keep it pristine for many years to come. Paradises, after all, are notoriously fleeting.

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3 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Palau”

  1. oday Says:
    July 2nd, 2013 at 7:30 am

    missing you my brother there..
    can i copy the link … to put in some places for scuba diving and vacation …

  2. Laura Watilo Blake Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    It doesn’t take much for an exotic destination to demand my attention, but seldom can I pinpoint the moment it starts to get under my skin enough to exacerbate my travel itch (an incurable chronic condition).

    Thanks to writer Jacqueline Detwiler, my bucket list has gotten even longer. The island of Palau started beckoning the moment I read the story “Three Perfect Days: Palau” in Hemispheres magazine’s July 2013 issue.

    About Jelly Fish Lake, where the namesake creatures don’t sting, she writes: “As you gingerly tread water, the jellyfish bouncing off your body like slippery little jacky sacks, the scene you take in through your googles is very much like something from outer space.”

    With that one sentence, I was hooked. And now I am trying to find the perfect time to scratch.

  3. Will Martin Says:
    September 25th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    If the pitch here is to describe an antidote to a world which is an “echo chamber of car horns and email alerts” then the writer would have done well to describe sailboats rather than speedboats in her very first sentence. Speedboats are loud, dirty, and extremely disruptive to marine life and coral reefs. Sailing takes no power, makes no noise, and consumes no resources. Something to consider.

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