"In the middle of the Ocean..." Diego Garcia by Jhony
Diego Garcia Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 97 photos
Onboard the USNS Comfort the atmosphere could not be gloomier. We had crossed the Suez Canal and after a few nights of darkened ship our orders arrived for a Diego Garcia sojourn; we had no clue what the place was but judging by word of the old sailors, we'd like the island. Now, after so many days of little to no action we decided it would be good to have some fun before arriving in Iraq, thus we smiled, happy to pull in another foreign port.
Here's some info from a Navy website: "Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory is located at 7 Degrees South Latitude, off the tip of India. Diego Garcia is exclusively a military reservation located on a small host country atoll in the Chagos Archipelago. The heavily vegetated island has an area of 6,720 acres. The average elevation is four feet above sea level. The maximum elevation is 22 feet. This island is horseshoe shaped with a perimeter of approximately 40 miles. The enclosed lagoon is 6 1/2 miles wide and 13 miles long."
We pulled in on the 1st of February. The welcoming weather contrasted with the beautiful sight of the beaches and pure blue water as we anchored. Needless to say, we were really anxious to get off the boat to explore this hidden jewel... and very glad we were to find a dream beach with a Marina and lots of beer to drink at very cheap prizes. My first impression of the island was a perfect 10... but we were to stay for a month, and a lot could happen in that period.
Diego Garcia is a living coral atoll, the coral reefs and island are made up of trillions of living organisms. Once an ancient volcano, all that is left is the atoll surrounding a central lagoon. Thanks to its tropical location and heavy rainfall, the island is heavily vegetated with coconut palm and ironwood trees. This I did not mind at all!
The first day was unexplainable! We got our boat licenses, we went canoeing, snorkling, reef watching, and drank a whole lot of beer. Our skins were all ready getting dark, but tanning is the best thing to happen to people after lava lamps, so we weren't complaining.
The second day we went fishing once we got our boat licenses. We were chased by dolphins (we took several pictures of them swimming right next to us) and caught absolutely nothing. I decided to swim and witnessed a shark swim right below me but ignored me completely. Shallow reefs surround the island on the ocean side and are scattered inside the lagoon. As you might suspect, the waters surrounding Diego Garcia are home to a vast variety of sea life (over 700 species have been recorded so far). Some of the world's finest fishing is at their doorstep! Could it get any better? This island was it!!! Later on that day we were kicked off to shore by a group of GI guys, but our fun continued with more beer and more sun.
The third day we decided to visit the 2 clubs on the island. We were as dark as we're ever going to get and my skin had begun peeling a while ago. We played volley, hiked, biked, and did the rest of the things left to do. The island is very small, so the choices are limited. The clubs were dissapointments, but they had a pretty good sized gambling/game room. The food was mainly philipino, so that was also great! Wildlife on the island consists mainly of coconut, land and warrior crabs; coconut rats; small lizards and geckos; a variety of tropical birds; and feral donkeys. Everywhere you go, though, you hear; "Stay away from the donkeys!"
The fourth day... well... not much left to do. We repeated a few of the activities but a month is a long time. Nothing left to see because of the size of the island, and nothing left to do because of the number of times we did them.
Diego Garcia is a good spot to spend a week away from it all, but anything over a week reduces points from your sanity. After a month there the only activities we were still doing were drinking on the beach and swimming at night. It definitely would be the perfect spot for a beach bum, though! If you are into people watching, educational/historical places, variety of activities and diverse food... this is not the place you want to visit. If your ideal vacation consists of being in the water and drinking till you drain the island... Diego Garcia is for you! Oh... did I forget to mention there is only one hotel?
- Pros:Extreme fun for a week with a stress-free environment!
- Cons:Anything over a week there feels like "Groundhog Day."
- In a nutshell:A great place to stop for a smoke break!
One of the first places we visited upon arrival was this restaurant, and we did by simply bumping into it. Conveniently... more travel advice
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