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News from Monika & Michal
We just got to solomons, check it out
We are in Gizo, Solomon Islands, Seawanhaka yacht. It wasn's easy to get here, but about this later...

Firstly, why did we choose Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea? This is a short answer, which you can get from any one who traveled in this part of the world. "if you are interested in culture and wild nature, you can find there one of the most diversed and unchanged places in the world. More than 900 languages in only these 2 countries can prove this. These are two of the least visited countries by tourists."

During colonialism, PNG got devided between British, Germans and Dutch, and after the WWII the German part went to Australians. Traders with sandal wood and whales hunters came to Solomons only in XVIII and then Solomons became the most dangerous place in the whole Pacific area. Later British took over the islands governance. During WWII one of the biggest battles between USA and Japan took place in Solomon Islands.

Both countries got their independance in the 70s. However, even today very few of them speak about themselves as about PNG citizents and are rather identifying more with their tribe. Serious ethnic conflicts appeared even recently, and the last one was solved thanks to peace forse of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Enough about the history! It is important that Solomon Islands are one of the most friendly islands in Pacific (although, head hunters and canibalism was popular until the 30s .)

Two days and 6 flights - that is what it took us to get here from Sydney. First, almost 6-hour flight from Fiji. We spent there the night in a hostel on the beach and with the full moon... Our first romantic evening in our honey moon journey (no matter that we were so tired that we fell asleep in hamaks on the beach after only 2 beers. Besides that we had to get up at 5 am next morning to catch next fligh to Honiara (via Vanuatu.) we had only a short stopover in Vanuatu, where we got the most detailed security check since Sept 11th... We had in our hand luggage a few packs of batteries (maybe 80 batteries altogether) for Dive Gizo in Gizo (they asked us to buy them for them, as you cannot get them in Solomons) and they didn't want to let us take them back to the plane! 30 minutes took the discussion! But we made it, batteries as well... ;) - packed in a secured package were transfered to other luggage below the passangers cabine...

Eventually, we made it to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. This is a totally different wsorld. This is a small, dirty and not tourists friendly airport. On Fiji, there were bars, shops, ads for tourists everywhere... Here nothing. We moved quickly to the domestic airport, which was an even smaller, difficult to find, old and very demadged building with a small booth inside it with "check-in" on top of it.

We were serviced by a very nice young guy, who in his system (piece of paper) found our names on the list of passangers. Then, he weighed our luggage and then.. Us... It turned out that the plane is so small that sometimes they cannot take some luggage or some passanger(s)... But we made it! ;)

We are waiting for our plane. It is raining, it is humid and hot. Eventually, we got on the plain and and we got into the air in high turbulances. We had 2 stopvers on the way to Gizo - in Seghe and in Munde. Eventually, we landed on a small island, where there is only the airstrip. We got to Gizo by the water taxi.

Bill, the captain was waiting for us on the shore, ready to invite us for a cold beer in hotel Gizo - which is the tourist centre in this small town. We met there Dan, who is the second American on Sewanhaka and had been sailing with Bill for 2 months altready by then. 2 days later we met two more crew members - Katrina and Siv from Norway.

Gizo island was very demaged by tsunami 2 months ago. But I will write more about this in more details. Now I have to run back to the boat before moscitoes start biting... ;) we are leaving Gizo on 8th of July and will be back on 27th July. Wish us good winds and little rain! :)