Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
Honiara is an interesting city, a Pacific Island community desperately dragging themselves into the 21st century. Before our guests arrived, as tour leader I was able to inspect the sites we will visit on Guadalcanal. Of concern was the state of the Canberra and RAMSI memorials. Unlike other memorials in the Solomon Islands which are cared for, these are not. They are surrounded by rubbish, and the RAMSI one is daubed with graffiti. I suppose we should at least be thankful it is marker pen not spray-can generated.
Our tour group all arrived safely this afternoon. For those unaccustomed to flying Virgin, their first adventure was the flight. An exceptionally well maintained aircraft, very polite and efficient cabin crew. However, the novelty of purchasing a "gourmet" pie, sandwich or soft drink (a cup of coffee and a tumbler of water were free) on an international flight was something unusual. The next adventure was the transit to our hotel. The hotel's bus is currently not available, so a local commuter bus was called into service. The non-air-conditioned trip through the afternoon Honiara traffic, and yes the traffic in Honiara where the hills come close to the coast is quite chaotic, was an experience.
When the guests arrived at the hotel, there was relief at the high quality of the establishment. All settled in well, some enjoying the pool before we all gathered for a briefing before an excellent dinner.
Most retired early, tomorrow it is first stop Red Beach.