In and Around Honiara, Solomon Islands
Honiara is quite a small town, and having just four days there was enough to see what was worth seeing.
Upon arrival I jumped straight into a taxi to town costing a hundred Solomon Dollars and then negotiating a five hundred dollar room down to three hundred and fifty, this country is expensive!
I also noticed the change of culture from PNG where all shops would be owned and managed by a Chinese sitting in a high chair by the entrance watching everything and everyone and children were running around shouting “white man give me coin”, whereas PNGans just said hi and let me walk by. From the city’s Chinatown there was just a few kilometers walk to get to the Mataniko Falls. Being from a country where even children walk several kilometers in the mountains on a normal Sunday family hike I thought this was something I would just do on my own. When arriving in Leilei Village where the trek starts from all the villagers around me were pushing for me to pay two hundred Solomon Dollars for a guide as they did not let anyone walk alone. I stayed over an hour with them trying to convince them that I could do it on my own, buy after there were nearly ten villagers standing there telling me otherwise I gave in and paid a hundred to let a young boy shown me the way for the three hour trek. On the top I was happy as I plunged into the water with my sweat soaked T-shirt, even though there was no waterfall to be seen as it was all dried out now before the rainy season.
The most impressive sight on the island though was the rocky beach just twenty minutes out of town where there was a freight ship, the Bonegi II, sunk from World War II just a few meters off shore. Parts of the ship could be seen over water and the rest was a dream to see underwater with my own snorkel gear. There was plenty of coral that had grown on the ship and while taking photos of the ship wreck there was a striped clown fish that repeatedly crashed into my mask to protect its family living in the anemone that had grown on the ship wall. It was for sure one of those moments where I thought there was no other place I would want to see and no other thing I would have wanted to do instead of being there snorkeling what probably is the Worlds best snorkelable ship wreck.