A Travellerspoint blog

Solomon Islands

Honiara and Bellona


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Ah the mighty Solomon Islands, the funny Spaniards named it so thinking King Solomon hid his stash of gold here, alas not!
So this was to be my full on cultural shock stop, it pretty much lived up to it and all in a good way. Spent the first four days in the capital Honiara which first impressions led me to believe it was a bit of a dive, however underlying this is a few gems (amoungst the rubbish and litter, shame it was the most beautiful City in the South Pacific 20 years ago). On the 5th day I flew in the rubber band engine plane to Bellona, the only Polynesian Provence in this Melanesian country, the island is about 8kmx2km, home to 1500, has no electricity and running water only after substantial rainfall. The island was also the last to convert to Christianity in the late 30’s and therefore stop killing each other (a good thing as they had gotten to the stage of killing women and children which was a taboo, so I guess they would all be dead by now!) My accommodation for the week was in a cave, serious, sharing with bats, geckos, small crabs and birds, some may not like this friendly shared accommodation, however I was ok with it, actually the biggest fear was a crab crawling up my bed sheet, didn’t happen though! The view was just phenomenal, the pacific ocean, not the calm serene Fijian pacific ocean but the huge blue deep crashing waves pacific ocean, most dramatic and kind not swimmable accept for a coral pool which filled at high tide. On the 2nd day the rain water ran out so washing took place in the ocean for the remainder of the time and fortunately the cave gave access to a small pool of mineral water, awesome!
Without a doubt I must have eaten the freshest fish whilst here, no kidding, Brian the owners son (one of many!) went diving in the ferocious ocean at about 10am, by 12:30 the catch was making its way into my tummy! No oven, grill or BBQ, just a fire whipped up by him, served with kasava, simple but VERY tasty! I also ate plenty of crayfish which are native to the waters, to think we pay vast amounts for lobster and crayfish in the UK and there they catch them like the Irish dig potatoes!
The Solomons have an amazing culture with traditions and Kastoms coming out of their ears and I feel very lucky to have learnt and experienced many of them, which I do hope I can remember for many years to come…..a great stop…..oh until the end when Solomon Airlines f****d up royally and caused me to miss international flights, trains, theatre tickets etc just because they are inept! Anyway, water under the bridge now!

Oh also the hottest place i've ever been to, possibly 39 c in Honiara!

Posted by kennedy84 04.12.2008 08:18 Archived in Solomon Islands Comments (1)

Fiji


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I looked forward to Fiji, mainly to relax as in NZ had pretty much moved location every single day and needed to be in one place for more than one night! Ended in the same place for 10 nights actually, a beautiful resort on one of the northerly Yasawas called Safe Landings, the Island being Nacula. As the resort had only been open a few months and had yet to be in the mainstream tourism marketing I actually had the resort to myself half the time, me, a beach, 12 staff and a few hundred coconut trees, killer times! Saw some beautiful sunsets, learnt about the many uses of the coconut and saw pigs mating amongst the coconut trees.

Posted by kennedy84 04.12.2008 07:41 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

New Zealand

-17 °C
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Many winters have passed since my last penning, ok none, except we’ve reached winter now and so much happened in NZ I can only give a précis as it would take too long! My time in the North was spent aboard a bus of many nationalities, needless to say it was much fun and didn’t involve too many drunken nights, saw most of the main sights of the north, my personal favourite being Tongariro National Park, not sure why, just thought it beautiful.
Once in the South island I was on my own in a wee camper van, all the fun happened here as I lost my Passport and had to head back up North to get a new one, drama drama, saw some of the south but not much, great blue lakes though.

Posted by kennedy84 24.10.2008 16:40 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Sydney Update.....then on to Melbourne


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Quite behind on the old blogging.......
The remainder of my time in Sydney was spent on the beach, wandering the many waterfronts, one day on the beach the southerly wind picked up (so the crazy man in the beach shack was shouting) and we were all treated to an all over sand exfoliation, really very nice! Saw a pretty cool graveyard on the edge of a cliff which seemed a bizarre place to have one as presumably they would have none for years that cliffs erode and salt water would disintegrate the stones, incipiently even stones not so old were falling apart.
I have decided Australians do have culture, its just not as Europeans see it, it is not an old culture its a modern culture, even the Ancient Greek's culture was modern at one time.
Took the red eye to Melbourne to spend a few days there with my old PB pal Lucinda, she has a beautiful house in the Hawkesburn Village area, wonderfully sunny when I arrived and after going the entire way round the tourist tram (which is like a rattle shaker!) I realised I was in fact completely on the wrong tram and in fact just needed a train.....anyway, got where I needed to be in the end.
On Friday I woke up after a wonderful nights sleep to gorgeous sunshine, popped on my shorts and t-shirt and skipped out of the house down to the train station......wondered the centre of Melbourne and took another tram to Fitzroy which is when the rain started......boo. Ambled on down to St Kilda's (which is a beach area) in the bleedin freezing cold rain just my thongs on my feet (aussie word for flip flops!) so wasn't the best time to see the beach.
In the evening we went out with Lucinda's friends, learnt all about Australian country life, apparently if a snake is in your garden in the outback you either put on gumboots and take a shovel to it or shoot it 50 times and one of the bullets will get the blighter!)
On the Saturday we went to Healesville sanctuary so I could see koala's. Taz devil with baby, kangaroos, dingoes etc, all awesome, I liked it.
In the evening we watched Summer Heights High which is an Australian comedian to sketches of a teacher, school girl and boy, it is soooo funny, if it comes on TV in England then watch it.
Final and best day in Australia.......we went to Pin Oak Court aka RAMSEY STREET! I was sooooo excited, it was amazing, I fell life is now complete, it actually looks the same but smaller, its amazing!
Random.....bumped into another Powder Byrner Meg at Melbourne airport, weird!
Spent evening back in Sydney with my friend Eli whom I also worked with in Powder Byrne, 3 in one day, I tell you we get everywhere!

Posted by kennedy84 12.10.2008 18:56 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney

Ahhhh that's better.....

sunny
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Leisurely wake up on day two, sun is shining and have splattered factor 30 all over me, you know there is a hole in the Ozone layer right about Australia, poor sods.
We wondered to the harbour through Hyde park and the Botanical gardens, taking in the Opera house (which btw needs a good scrub!) before boarding a boat to Watsons Bay. This is a quite a sweet small semi-retirement type bay, actually I think that was just the Wednesday OAP day that gave that impression, had the biggest portions of fish baskets and chips, awesome! Did loads of walking as we kind of got lost in another place called Mosmans, again nice place, very Desperate Housewives by the sea! Had awesome Moroccan lamb pizza for dinner, errr not sure the jutting hipbones will be appearing soon!

The next few days we just hung out, bit of shopping, sunbathing on Bondi beach whish isn’t so bad, I just felt fat and white compared with all the umber slim and muscled bronzed aussies shimmying around everywhere….the biatches! In the evening we went to Richard’s Sisters house in Hunters hill, its good knowing people who live in the place you’re visiting as you get to see all places you wouldn’t normally go to……we had a BBQ, no shrimps though.
The taxi driver home sounded like a man from Team America.


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Posted by kennedy84 30.09.2008 01:59 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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