Days M162-166 The Kings of Kiribati

Wed 07.03.12 – Sun 11.03.12: We arrived in Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati on Wednesday morning. Some infernal fishing vessel had stolen the one and only parking speck (don’t you hate it when that happens?) so we were forced to drop anchor in the lagoon and use the two barges to ferry the containers back and forth. This also provided the means for getting ashore (presuming you didn’t want to get wet). But I wanted to get ashore as soon as possible, so I hitched a ride with the customs team who had their own speedboat. Re-familiarising myself with Betio, the port area of Tarawa, didn’t take long: on a coral atoll such as this, there’s really only one road. I mooched around in the old haunts before wandering down to the Captain’s Bar to met (funnily enough) the Captain of the Scarlett Lucy. After a couple of…

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Days M156-161: SolBrew For The Soul

Thu 01.03.12 – Tue 06.03.12: We arrived in Honiara a at 8pm, a little later than expected, and thanks to our proximity to the equator, it was already dark. I headed over to the King Solomon hotel to try and contact my CouchSurf chum Thomas from last time I was here, but my email had no reply and his phone was off or disconnected. There’s a good chance that he’s left The Solomons for green pastures. I had a quick chat with Mandy – she’s trying her best to organise my passage on the Cap Serrat – a Hamburg Sud cargo ship which leaves Brisbane on March 25 bound for Taiwan… arriving just in time for me to (possibly) jump on the Mariana Express Ship that leaves April 8 bound for nations 196 and 197: Micronesia and Palau. This year, if I manage to get to…

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Day M78: Kiss My Rusty Kiribati

14.12.11: My second day on Kiribati’s main atoll of Tawara started slowly. After having to wait an hour or so for the barge to be ready to go ashore, I (literally) jumped aboard the tug boat and set off for another day of action and adventure. The war relics here are quite fascinating in a morbid sort of way. When this Japanese command HQ was taken by the Yanks, they found over 300 Japanese soldiers inside, all dead. I would, at this juncture, like to point out that reinforced concrete is pretty good for building cheap lousy ugly bunkers, but not good for building anything that you don’t want to look like a cheap lousy ugly bunker. Modern architects would do well to bear this fact in mind. There’s tanks and guns and possibly unexploded ordinance still knocking around the place. In a way, you’d think…

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Day M77: It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Kiribati

13.12.11: The first and most important thing you should know about Kiribati is that the people of Kiribati, the I-Kiribati, pronounce ‘ti’ as ‘s’. Therefore, the correct pronunciation of ‘Kiribati’ is ‘Kiribas’. The correct pronunciation of Betio, the port area of Kiribati’s capital atoll Tarawa, is Beso. And ‘Christmas’ is spelt ‘Kiritimati’. And ‘I-Kiribati’ is pronounced ‘E-Kiribas’. DEAL WITH IT PEOPLE!! Incidentally, Laos is pronounced ‘Lao’, not ‘louse’, Suriname is pronounced ‘Surinam’ and St. Kitts and Nevis is pronounced ‘St. Kitts and Neevis’. Get it right my dear reader: lives may depend on this knowledge, although perhaps not. And while I’m at it: America, listen up you Shatner-Stealing Mexico-Touchers: Van Gogh is pronounced ‘Van Hoghckkk’ like you’re hacking up a docker’s omelette... NOT ‘VAN GO’. EVER. DUTCH GUY, NOT FRENCH. DUTCH. DIFFERENT COUNTRY, DIFFERENT LANGUAGE (it’s also ‘Mo-wett and Chandon’). And another thing: ‘niche’ is pronounced…

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