Published: February 26th 2009February 10th 2009
With its beautiful strips of sands, corals, volcanoes, lagoons and small islands, the Western province is definitely the most attractive province in the Solomons. Gardens are tidy and full of exotic flowers and people are extremely friendly.
After waiting for a ship a couple of days in Honiara, we decided with Steve to go straight to the airport. And coincidentally, we got the last seats available!!! The plane was OK and the best thing: it flew no higher than 2500mts, offering good views of the lagoon and atolls.
Munda airport was built in WWII and under grassy terrain there is still the old sealed surface. Nearby, there are many remnants of the WWII, the US dump, a home-museum and really well preserved anti-aircraft guns. Munda is a good starting point for diving and there are still at least two aircrafts in shallow waters in the nearby lagoon. I saw them on my own, I'll do another blog about underwater sites.
A couple of hours of motorboat ride from Ghizo there is a nice small island Simbo, which is the place to relax. The sea was really wild so basically we were all wet when we got there, including backpacks. Friendly villagers
sealed still from the WWII
arranged us accommodation in a centenary hall, some kind of community house. It was nice to walk around and relax and two boys took us to the nearby volcano with yellow sulfur crater and fantastic views. Before the ascent, we were asked to wash our faces three times in sea water as a sign of respect to the sacred place. So we did.
Although unwillingly, they took us to the skull sites too, the sacred places where the skulls of the ancestors were stored until recently. Unfortunately, the 2007 tsunami hit these sites and the skulls are now resting around close to the coast. Frankly, we had no wish to spend much time there.
Ghizo is a provincial capital and the best thing to see there is a colorful market. We met many people from nearby and from remote islands selling vegetables, home-made pies, fish and souvenirs. Some nice beaches to see there too and the best thing: diving the corals and WWII wrecks again!!! I'll publish an extra blog about that.
There are more photos below