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Date: 24 Oct 2012 00:04:06
Title: This one time, under a banyan tree...

Well, clearly this blog is going to be old news to most of you, but of course it must still be documented as a very important life-changing part of our trip!

On Saturday, finally under some sunshine, we hired a double kayak from the resort at Oyster Island and headed up a nearby river in search of the famous 'Matevulu' blue hole. The river is more of a creek, but in a tropical sense of course, so discard any ideas you have of muddy water with rusty boats and lots of litter. The water in the river was clear and shallow, and we could clearly see fish swimming underneath our kayak, as we paddled through the forrest. As we moved further inland, the water became clearer and clearer and the jungle more wild. There wasn't a sound except for our paddles in the water and the birds singing in the trees.

Paddling upstream


After 40 minutes we turned a corner and emerged into a beautiful pool of deep and very blue water. We had arrived. Next to the pool among the trees, was an enormous banyan tree, with it's giant roots in the spring fed water feeding the vast tree above. Hanging from the tree was a rope swing that someone had put in place. A friend had described this as 'the world's greatest rope swing' so clearly we had to give it a go. In order to get enough height to clear the water, we had to carry the rope and use the roots of the banyan tree as a climbing frame, to get about 15ft in the air before jumping off. The height gave us a pretty good swing and it was awesome fun.

Matevulu blue hole - banyan tree in the middle


Site of the proposal!


We swam in the pool to cool off and then as we were sat on the roots of the tree, Archie said....

"Jojo, will you marry me?"

Ah those longed for words were finally alive! Of course I said "yes!" No one could ever make me happier. A small root from the banyan tree was hastily woven around my finger as a symbolic placement ring. We are going to use some diamonds from Archie's Great Grandmother's engagement ring, which will be chosen and set into a new ring when we're back in the UK. After all the drama, we kayaked back to the resort with big smiles on our faces and full of happiness, excitement and a little relief that the moment had finally arrived!



My banyan tree root ring!


Once back on the boat we popped the bottle of Moet that had been chilling in our fridge since Jem and Ewan conveniently left it behind :-) That evening we treated ourselves to dinner in the restaurant at the resort and enjoyed paella, brownie and sangria. After the Moet and Sangria we were both feeling a little woozy! We don't normally drink much on the boat, just a beer or two in the evening, so our heads were a little sore in the morning! But we are so happy, excited, and bursting to tell everyone our news.

And that is the story of how Archie and Jojo got engaged!

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