Halo from the Solomon Islands!
The Solomon Islands have been another, incredible Pacifc visit. This week I took my first try at Couchsurfing and couldn’t have felt more successful. I have been wanting to dare to try it, but in the Solomons, there were no hostel options, so the time was now. I spent the week with the most amazing family, continuing to see the hospitality of the Pacific.
George picked me up at the airport and in the truck, described how excited his daughter and her family were to host me. When I got to her house and met the family, her husband (also George) asked how long I was staying. When I responded that it would be just a week, he quickly said, “that’s not long enough. You should change your flight.”
I didn’t know it yet, but he was right.
The main island of the Solomons is Guadalcanal, which even for those not intimate with WWII history should sound familiar. Guadalcanal was the site of significant battles and I was lucky to see the US memorial there, which details all of the battles and looks over “Iron Bottom Sound”. The lagoon is named such because of all of the ships that lay at the bottom of it.
While snorkeling in Iron Bottom Sound, you even have to avoid running into ships that are jutting above the water.
I also spent a day and night at the nearest outer island – Savo. Here I got to tear through a book on the quiet beach, trek into the village to see the evening’s cooking being done taking advantage of hot spring rivers, swam with dolphins, and spend some time with an incredible family.
Yes, I said swim with dolphins. But not in the Sea World kind of sense. You go out on a small boat and once they find the dolphins (super easily done because there are so many), they’ll make circles and drive along with them to create waves, which the dolphins love to go play in. To swim along with them, you then hop in the water on the side of the boat and hold on to a rope (like a wake-boarding type rope), and hang on!
I was unsuccessful, again, in search of a dugong. It stays on the list!
Because of the number of languages spoken in the Solomon Islands, most speak English and then everyone also speaks pijin (or pidgin) – a broken English. The family laughed as I started to understand it by the end of the week. I can’t say I can speak it now, but at least I can mostly follow along.
Guess I’ll just have to come back.