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Our journey through Solomon Islands

 

 

Tikitouring in a fabulous part of the world: Page 2

 

Richard Moore's article continues ...

Skyline Ridge MemorialSoon after landing in Honiara we went with a knowledgeable battlefield guide, Michael Ramosaea, to the United States Memorial high over the city on Skyline Ridge.

The Stars and Stripes flies over the carved marble memorial walls, together with the Solomon Islands flag.

The inscriptions on the walls tell of the bloody battles fought to clear the islands of the invading Japanese and the high cost in lives that were claimed on the land, in the air and on the sea.

Following that we headed about 50km west of the capital to the Vilu War Museum.

The museum building is basic but when you go through to the outside displays you see what the place is all about.

There are the remnants of planes, engines and intact Japanese artillery pieces.

Vilu War MuseumThe Vilu museum is inspiring and visitors making the effort to see it will not be disappointed.

Our first stopover was Gizo, a hub town for the western province with a hotel, market and hospital.

We flew by small plane to the airstrip at Nusatupe near Gizo. The airfield is built on two islands that have been levelled.

From there we were taken by motorised longboat - the taxis of the outer regions - to the town of Gizo.

Arriving by boat you see the red tin roofs of the open market buildings and crowds of people already there.

Gizo, Solomon IslandsOn offer are coconuts, root vegetables, cucumbers, chillis and later in the day, after the fishermen return, fresh fish.

There are also table after table of betelnuts a mild intoxicant much favoured by Solomon Islanders of all ages and one that when mixed with lime colours the teeth and mouth red.

The Gizo hotel is a good place to stay, it has clean rooms, much needed air-conditioning and a really good restaurant in which I had the most massive crayfish for a very paltry sum.

But, again like Honiara, Gizo is only a short-time base and we head out on one of the longboats to the village of Saeragi on the northern tip of Gizo island.

Continued ...

 

Copyright 2014 RICHARD MOORE
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