Peleliu Island

Today we boarded the boat and headed South to the remote island of Peleliu. We wanted to make sure we took in more of the history and sights on land as much as we did in the water.

Here is some background of the islands history, Via SAMS Website…

“Peleliu Island was the scene of one of the Pacific’s bloodiest battles when U.S. Marines made an amphibious assault on the beaches of Peleliu in 1944 to liberate the island from Japanese forces. Peleliu was heavily fortified with massive concrete bunkers and over 300 man-made and reinforced natural caves used to shelter the Japanese forces during massive naval bombardments prior to the assault. Remnants of Japanese headquarters buildings, incredible cave systems, gun emplacements, tanks, planes and weapons can still be seen today. In 1985 the U.S. Department of Interior designated Peleliu as a National Historic Landmark.”

On the tour we got to see a Japanese Zero WWII fighter plane still there just untouched. A Zero fighter plane buried on the sandy beach, engine remains still sticking out. All sorts of metal artifacts ranging from bullets to land mines. You name it! Still there, still being unearthed on a weekly basis.

We were just so taken back that these historical things were still respected enough by the people living on the island that they didn’t take anything and try to sell it on EBay or something. I think maybe that’s our Western state of mind negativity kicking in.

We met a wonderful gentleman named Charlie, currently living in Belize. Charlie shared a few book titles that he Kindled before making his trip with his wife to vacation on Palau. Will have to check those out. Thanks again Charlie! Oh, we met his lovely wife too! A determined diver, not letting anyone or anything get in the way of her dives and joy. Love meeting people from all walks of life, the story behind them, the life they live and how they got there, all so very interesting.

We hiked, sweated, and hiked more. The humidity is no laughing matter in Palau. Nevertheless, the reward awaited us at the top of the island. It was a century old coral-built lighthouse constructed during the German occupation. The view from the top of the lighthouse gave us a view of most of the archipelago. Again, flip-flops not the best choice of footwear.

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