Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Sols... Part 2

Ok, so after nearly two weeks of fighting poor internet connections, uploading failures, and chronic laziness, I have finally got around to posting the next installment of my trip to the Sols.

Part 2 (and Part 3) is for the particular appreciation of my friend B at Not Going Gently, who grew up in the Sols in a village that we island hopped over on my previously mentioned, terrifying, flight in the little plane.

Part 1 left off at our arrival at the Gizo Hotel in the beautiful Western province of the Solomon Islands. The photo below is the front of the Gizo Hotel and its store front on the main street in Gizo. It doesn't look like much at the moment, but is in the process of being renovated to include a mobile phone store, internet cafe and IT servicing business. By now the green netting should be down and people should be able to access the stores behind. Upstairs is the staff quarters of the Gizo Hotel.

This is the view of the main street and Gizo bay from the restaurant of the Gizo Hotel. Directly opposite the restaurant is the main wharf where the cargo and passenger ships dock, and down the road to the left of the picture is the market house where an assortment of fresh fruits, and vegetables are available for sale, as well as fresh fish (we saw the fishermen bringing in freshly caught yellowfin tuna to be sold at the market), and the ever present betel nut (which is a whole other story to be covered in a future post).

If you walk out of the hotel and turn to the right and walk down the main street, away from the market, you pass all the government buildings, such as the police station, the magistrates court, and the hospital. The building below is a new hospital being built in Gizo using funding from the Japanese Goverment. The hospital below will be 3 stories and is expected to be completed early next year. it will be the largest hospital in the country and the people of Gizo are pretty proud of that fact!

Some people call the Japanese Government's aid to the Pacific "reparations for the war". I'm not sure I can be that cynical about the whole thing.

Will get Part 3 up ASAP... Honiara, here we come!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sols... Part 1

After having a fabulously dirty weekend in a BIG city on the BIG island, the huMAN and I jumped a plane on Monday to fly to The Solomon Islands, a group of islands north of the rock I call home.

The Sols are a group of 990 islands in the South Pacific, east of Papua New Guinea. They are also home to the largest  lagoon in the world, or so I'm  told.

After arriving in the Capital, Honiara, we made a quick trip to the domestic airport and jumped a teeny weeny (although there are smaller) plane and flew northwest to Gizo, the major town in the Western province of the Sols.
Da plane! Da plane!

After doing an island hop, and landing at Seghe and Munda airports first, we finally arrived at the airstrip close to Gizo and caught the hotel ferry across to the town of Gizo.
Da Airstrip!

Da Ferry (With Gizo in the background)
We arrived at the Gizo Hotel where the huMAN and I were promptly (and to our hilarity) checked into a room with twin singles instead of a "married bed"!!! We decided we'd make do and ended up pushing the beds together!
Da Hotel
(Ok the whole Tattoo / Fantasy Island thing is wearing thin now)
The hotel is basic but has a lovely pool area and a beautiful bar / restaurant with elaborately carved pillars and hard wood tables, and mother of pearl inlay around the bar, benchtops and stair handrails!

My internet time here is running out so I will have to post more tomorrow!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Ahh the benefits of dirty weekends away to the Big Island with the huMAN:
  • Snuggles,
  • Shopping,
  • Yum Cha,
  • Boost juice,
  • More snuggles,
  • Dinners out,
  • Kisses,
  • Ice cream,
  • Sleeping,
  • Bowling,
  • Movies,
  • Even more snuggles,
  • More shopping,
  • The Simpsons, and
  • Oportos!!!
Tomorrow heading off to a new set of islands for a few days for the huMAN's work.

Ahhh the jetsetting life for me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday already??!!

Gosh time flies! I have entirely lost track of this week!!

I spent much of this week sitting in on a court case to support of a friend of mine. 3 days of sitting through evidence seems, at the time, to drag it heels but all of a sudden I have reached the end of the week and realised that there are a million things I coulda, shoulda, and woulda done.
Fingers crossed the outcome on the trial will be favourable, however it may take a while for the judgement to be handed down.

Other highlights of this week have been:
  • Blisters on my feet from my new shoes.
  • Bumping into my ex-husbands parents in the local supermarket and being summonsed for "a talk", during which they tried to convince me to return to my ex and "try again".
  • And, having friends over for dinner, cooking my meat sauce and my bechamel sauce for my lasagne and then finding, an hour before guests were supposed to arrive, that the lasagne sheets I had in the cupboard were filled with weevils.
  • THEN, after obtaining new lasagne sheets from a kind guest who stopped off at the supermarket, layering my beautiful lasagne perfectly in my brand new pyrex dish and going to put it into the oven, only to find the dish is too big to fit inside!!!
I have earned my vodka and my dirty weekend away with the huMAN this week!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Once upon a time in magical blog land, there was a wonderful lady who kept many amused and entertained by setting up a game called "Meet and Greet" each weekend. It was a great way to "meet" other bloggers and catch up with old friends after a busy week of work, study and life.

The premise was this, each week on a Thursday evening a post would go up outlining the "rules" of the game and then people would comment on that post. The first person to comment would say Hi to Michele. The commenters after that would say Hi to Michele and Hi to the person above them in the comment list and then they would go and visit the blog of the person above them and leave a comment there as well, including in their comment the line "Michele sent me".

It was always interesting to see new blogs and hear new peoples takes on life and current affairs.

Bloggers came and went, but there was always a core group of dedicated Meet and Greeters to catch up with. Many friendships and connections were formed, some of which survive to this day.

When Michele closed down her blog several years ago, Meet and Greet was continued by a few of those who were dedicated to its perpetuation. Unfortunately it seems to have died out now.

I miss Meet and Greet. I've thought about trying to re-invigorate it here at Tales, or maybe set up a separate Meet and Greet Blog.

Tell me what you think. Is this a networking forum that we shouold try to revive? Or is it better to let sleeping dogs lie?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hiding out.

Today is one of my least favourite days of the week... cruise ship day. :o(

The day when a huge boat pulls itself into the town harbour and spews up to 2000 people out of it's bowels and onto our shores. These people, many of whom are obese, ignorant, loud mouthed, Coke-guzzling bogans, then trawl through my town, blocking up the streets, taking my usual coffee table, being rude to the locals, quibbling over prices, and generally making nuiscances of themselves.

Given the state of the economy and the fact that the global financial crisis is only just starting to take it's toll here on my little rock, I'm not really in a position to try and run these people out of town while angrily shaking my fist at them and demanding that they never come back! So instead I hide out at home, desperately trying to ignore the fact that town is being overrun.

When I hear the TOOT TOOT of the ship's horn at 5pm, I'll know it's safe to leave the safety of my little apartment and head to the pub to survey the days damage and comiserate with other cruise ship intolerant locals who are glad to see the wide arse of the ship, carrying its not so precious cargo of drongos, pull out of the harbour and sail off into the distance...

Then next week we'll get to do it all again!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just quickly...

I am now back on my little rock after returning from my trip to a bigger island with the huMAN.

An awesome time was had by all, and my closet is now bursting at the seams with new clothes!!

The "mothership" was appeased, as was my craving for KFC popcorn chicken... Too bad I left an unopened litre of yummy chocolate Movenpick icecream in the apartment freezer!! :o(

(Semi)Regular "postage" will resume tomorrow.