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Published: February 25th 2011
Thursday 24.2 – Kosrae
Treelodge has some sea kayaks and we took them out for a morning paddle. Much of the island consists of the interior, then a backwater swamp that floods by high tide. Next is another strip of land where the road goes around the island. A shallow sea is enclosed by a coral reef. So the Bully’s – the restaurant at our hotel, is next to the backwater and we started from there. Johanne with me and Anders with Birgitte. It was high tide going low tide, so we started north against the current and you could actually go quite far. There were birds but not so much else animal life. The scenery reminded me of Chang Mai with slow rivers and tree covered hills. We saw no one on the trip, though the road would not be far from the backwater. The children used the net, but caught nothing but garbage. Actually a lot of garbage was floating here. It is one of the things that is not so nice here – garbage everywhere. It is amazing how many rubber sandals that can be found on a single path. Another ‘garbage’ thing is cars. Every house has
The sleeping lady
- from the sunset cruise
1-10 old cars put up around the house. None of them has wheels and is missing several other parts – they definitely cannot work. It is really ugly and they should find a place where they need some land filling.
Next we floated sea-way and a bit further than Bully’s. Here the lagoon narrowed in to pass a bridge and that went fast so we decided to go back. We hardly could and we paddled like crazy to get back pass the bridge.
After lunch Erik and Anders went to the Blue Hole to snorkel. Anders like places where he can stand and wait for the fish to approach and he still sees a lot. The hole really drops down and here by low tide the visibility was not that good. But millions of small (3 cm) fish around the corals. Mark told me later that I should go out beyond the hole, behind the small island – last time he had seen a dozen sting rays there.
Thursday is Sunset Cruise day at treelodge. Mark took us to the harbor where 4 others were joining us. The box was packed with fresh yellow fin tuna sashimi (from this morning),
spring rolls and sushi – with accompanying drinks. Two were Americans working as teachers at the high school, two were ex-pats that had also worked as teachers, but were visiting. We sailed out into Lelu harbour and talked while the sun set behind the mountains. The weather was beautiful and we learned many things about Kosrae from the people. The teachers told us about the only time of day where the students would learn was from 9-10 and from 14-15. A common island thing was to sleep/releax from 10-14 (maybe they reinvented Siesta?) and they would do that in class. The first hour was also impossible – they all show up late. They are very hard with the rules, i.e. no smoking, drinking, chewing beetle nut – all reasons for being expelled from school. Also a good story from Kwajalain – you remember the Marshall Island atoll used as an American army base. One of the girls grew up there, and the base is used for the defence missile system – still being developed. Is started here since it was good for testing missiles sent from Alaska to here – the same distance as from Russia to Washington. When testing
at the Kosrae Village Resort
missiles, all personnel would be informed and on the evening/night, they would all take out their chairs with a beer and watch when the missiles being tested – they would drop each behind one of the islands in the atoll (in the water).
Friday 25.2 Kosrae
A bit of phoning about my wish to climb one of the ’mountains’. Each mountain belongs to a family, so the guides would be from that family. The guide from the highest, Mt. Finkol, was ill, and they had been trying to find someone else. We gave up on that, and it took only a minute to arrange for Mt. Ohma, also one of the 3 high peaks. I’m going tomorrow.
We rented a BMW (old, wonderful 320i) from Mark and drove south. 15 minutes in the museum in Tofol. If the people listed in the book was representative of the visitors on the island, it was not good. The last that had visited was the 12 from California that I had met on the plane some days ago where we got off in Majuro. And before that it was just a few in January and February. The display was modest but they
had a few good things. Like the red ‘Lap’ used for dye – only found one place on the island – the ‘menses’ from the sleeping lady of the mountains. I have included a new picture here since Birgitte had mocked me about the last one where only the breasts can be seen, and I had not seen that the face is to the right. The peaks to the left of the breasts are supposed to be her hands praying.
We continued south along the coast and it is just beautiful all the way (ignoring the dismantled cars and garbage). In the village of Utwe at the south point, the paved road stops, and it is a dirt road after that – very slow going. We were going to the Sipyen falls a few kilometers further on. A sign shows where the trail starts and it is easy to follow the discarded rubber sandals to the falls. We were the only ones at the falls – a 9 m fall with a small swimming pool at the bottom. We enjoyed an hour here – great place.
Going back we had lunch at one of the two up market places on the island – the Kosrae Village Resort. There were no guests beside us. The food was good, but Bully’s is much nicer surroundings and building. On the south side of the Lulu harbor we asked if it was ok to use the beach – there was low tide and a great beach here. We spent at couple of hours snorkeling and watched two fishermen who had snorkeled out in the canal to the reef and speared what they called a Sharp – it looked like it was 10 kilograms at least. Before we returned the car, we stopped at one of the many back yard ‘tank stations’ – many houses would have ‘gallons’ in the window, and then fill it in your tank (4.60$).
Read the full story and see more pictures on my homepage version:
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