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Bo 'n' Louise

A blog about one of our trips

The unprepared round-the-world tour starting 29th of June 2009.
First phase was from USA to South America on motorcycles. We made it, and the bikes are sold.
Second phase was the South Pacific... from island to island in old fashion backpacker style.
Third phase was around and around in Southeast Asia.
In fourth phase Louise went back to Denmark (August 2010) for work, while Bo continued in East Asia.
In fifth phase we were both on work, Louise in South America and Bo in Southeast Asia.
In the sixth phase Louise was in Denmark while Bo was making his way home through Russia.
By November 2010 both Louise and Bo were back in Denmark and an amazing journey has ended - but then there is always the next trip :-)

People and smiles of the Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Posted on Fri, March 12, 2010 07:30:21

When we landed in Seghe we were greeted by Benjamin, the owner of the lodge where we were going to stay. He was wearing a brand new, flashing red DBU (Danish Football Union) t-shirt! He told us that his Danish friends were staying with him at the moment. When we got to the lodge a whole family was there.

The Jakobsen’s and our hosts – and lovely freshcaught fish for dinner.

They had been coming to Benjamins place, Matakuri lodge, for the past 10 years.

Nothing to do but sit in the sunset and read a book..

Spending a few days here told us why. It was a very tranquil place with nothing to do. Exactly what we needed.

Our little bungalow..

There was even time for some house-keeping duties..



And these guys came around one morning to say hello..

However a bit surreal to be talking Danish to someone when we couldn’t be further from home…

From Matakuri we made some excursions around the Marovo Lagoon. To small villages in the neighborhood. This is where we met all off these lovely kids.

They were all looking and laughing big time.. so sweet!

Then we had a short stop in Munda – to dive – so not so many pictures… Saw sharks – and they saw us – and kept coming back to have another look – fascinating! They are indeed most gracious creatures!

Growing along the road..

Another sunset

We also made it to Malaita, another Solomon island with another beautiful lagoon and more lovely kids.

Kids playing – surfing – on thin wooded boards on the beach.

Living on a manmade coral island – it doesn’t get more Malaitan.

We lived right on the water once more. The owner, Serah, told us many stories about the bush-people, who still live naked, and the salt-water people who were originally bushpeople but went off in search of new land and ended up killing so many people on the way that they couldn’t go back and ended up living in the islands of the coast in the Langa Langa lagoon.

Bo and Serah padles us to the waiting car that will take us back to reality.



Fly Solomon Air

Solomon Islands Posted on Thu, March 11, 2010 23:04:45


To get around the Solomon Islands is an achievement on it’s own. This archipelago is covered in jungle so transportation is by airplanes or boats. Both of which are expensive and surprisingly hard to get a seat on.

Most places the only transport to get there is by hired motorboat.

Let’s start with the boats. There are two types; slow cargo boats that sails here and there.. and very slow, and hydrofoils… which while we were there did not sail at all. We even went to the office to ask about their schedule. Behind the counters sat afro wearing ladies and pointed to the February schedule. In both places they neglected to mention that the boats were not sailing at all as they were being fixed. Hmmmmm. This we found out a few days later when we were planning to sail with one of them. A bright local guy from one of the small islands mentioned that he hadn’t seen the boats for a while and doubted that they sailed. True enough. Luckily we could get on one of the slower boats, which meant waiting in the middle of the night, spending the night in a packed saloon with sleeping people everywhere and a bitter smell of sweat betle nut, and some vomit. In the morning the boat didn’t stop at the pier so we could get off, so that part of the journey had to be done in small dingies that had come out to the boat to pick up some other people. There was a hint of boat refugees about it all.

Getting to the night boat was a bit of an adventure in heavy rain.
We managed to get some seats in the crowed saloon… and the stench was intense.
Finally we got off the night boat.

Then the planes. There is just one company and their planes are all very small (6 passengers) and very old. Not as old as the runways though, who are all from WWII and made from broken coral… and no further tarmac. The tickets cost a fortune, and I have no clue as to how the locals can afford it, we barely could.

A free view of the cockpit.

A closer look reveals great things like “Brakes test”…


A landing strip appears out of the blue.

But we had bought some tickets. In the office we had asked how big the plane was, 6 persons. We were therefore slightly puzzled when in the airport (that is.. a storage building working as the domestic terminal) they said that 8 people were going on the plane. Time passed and when the departure time was passed a man (with afro) came out and mumbled something about 200 kg of luggage had to come off the plane. I took a look at the very limited amount of bags on the trailer in front of us. There was not 200 kg in total, which the guy must have known since it was he who had weighed it all.

Mostly for show a few card board boxes were removed, which of course did not solve the problem – because the problem was that, hang on now, that they had overbooked a 6 person plane with 2 people. How was that supposed to work? After some more mumbling it was revealed that two people had to leave the flight… that was all the information we got. Nothing about what these two persons were supposed to do instead or anything. Then we were told that these two persons had to be found within half an hour. Fifteen minutes later when nobody had abandoned their seats, the flight was simply canceled. “Say what?”. After an hour back and fourth it turned out that two people would be on a planned morning flight the next day and the rest would be on a because-of-the-situation unscheduled 6-person flight later next day. The two people who had arrived on an international flight got a hotel-room for the night, the rest of us got nothing (despite Louise’s persistent attempts). I am sure it all makes sense, handling it this way, it’s just very hard to see. But that’s what the Solomons are like. Delightfully different.

Check-in at Munda airport.
Everything needed to be weighed.
And everybody can join in on the loading of the plane.



More pictures

Solomon Islands Posted on Thu, March 11, 2010 01:46:34

For more Solomon pictures until the next post, please cruise by Globe Spots where there are heaps of photo galleries from all our places.

From the Solomon Islands you can e.g. find:

Amazing people in Langa Langa Lagoon

Marovo Lagoon

Enjoy!



Hottentots

Solomon Islands Posted on Tue, March 09, 2010 06:18:43

Ten years ago I had planed a trip to the Solomon Islands, but civil unrest broke out. The main island got invaded by barefooted outer islanders armed with clubs and machetes due to the corrupt government. Peace has arrived, but they are still barefooted. So we were very excited about what these islands could offer.

With big religious appetite missionaries have descended on these savage people. So today even the smallest village is a follower of some obscure branch of Christianity.

From we landed in the run down capital of Honiara our expectation of a wild and foreign place was truly fulfilled. The main street was filled with barefooted black people with big wicked afros. The air was hot and unbearable humid, and there was a stench of old sweat with a scent of bitterness. I recognized the bitter smell right away, it was betel nut… or more correctly betel nut spit. The nut gives a mild high if chewed with the right ingredients, along with cascades of blood-red saliva. It is legal and everybody is on the nut… with marks of red spit everywhere.

A spitting box in Honiara.

This was something different compared to the polished capitals of the other Pacific countries. There were some kind of tourist facilities, here were none. Only aid workers and missionaries. We were really a long way from home.

Honiare isn’t going to win any beauty prizes, but the people are the friendliest.