The South Pacific has always been intriguing. It is surprising that it has taken us this long to put together a trip to explore the area in more depth. Well, we are finally going. We are spending 7 weeks (way too little time but it is a start) to explore places like Tahiti and Fiji, dive destinations like Palau and Chuuk Island, and the still aboriginal island country of Papua New Guinea.
But what are two decidedly non-beach people, not to speak of lapsed scuba divers, going to find to do for 7 weeks in resort and beach areas? As it turns out (or actually, as we had planned), quite a bit. The areas have all types of snorkeling activities: Not only to see tropical fish and coral, but also maxima clams (also called giant clams, but they are not the huge clams we saw on the Great Barrier Reef), sharks and rays—not to speak of humpback whales. And this does not even include the opportunity to swim in a saltwater lake populated by thousands of jellyfish that have, through the magic of evolution, have lost their ability to sting. (The Palau lake that features this opportunity is temporarily closed due to a massive die-off resulting from a low rainfall and a drying of most of the lakebed but it was on our agenda when we started planning.)
We plan to explore many historic and cultural sites, indulge in new foods and preparations, hike mountains and meet new people. All, with a chance to experience the type of luxury and pampering that we seldom experience in our travels—including five days in an over-the-water bungalow at Bora Bora’s Four Seasons resort.
Then, of course, there is New Guinea, with its indigenous tribes, multiple languages, exotic and often dangerous reptiles, arachnids and insects, incredibly beautiful birds and its ancient traditions—many of which we will get to explore in our visit to the world famous, annual, Garoka “sing-sing” festival.
And this doesn’t even count all the WWII sites, the sunken ships and downed fighter planes and bombers, some of which we will see despite our skipping (at least for this trip) of some of the islands (like Guadalcanal) with the greatest concentration of these sites and the dozens of Truk Lagoon wrecks that are too deep to be seen from the surface.
Come join us on our adventure as we post a blow-by-blow description of our South Pacific adventure in the next series of posts.