Upon our return from holidays, I was looking forward to our first visitor! I had a full week of activities planned for young Johnno, including hiking mountains and morning rides in 35oC humid weather, and subjecting Johnno (a sheep farmer from way back) to a vegan lifestyle for an entire week. Sadly, Johnno never made it. The world had other plans, and a silly storm was one of them.
Fortunately, for me, my mate Jody (from Zambia days) also planned a visit to the Hapi Isles for the week after. Unfortunately for Jodes, I was stuck at work all that week helping to deal with a diarrhoea outbreak in the country. (Admittedly, she did look terribly excited at the prospect of being able to help – crazy Environmental Health Officers). I didn’t let her work on her holidays, though, and Manyoni took good care of her in my absence – taking her to all of Honiara’s four attractions (Museum, Art Gallery, Food Markets, and the phone shop).
We did manage to get away for an overnight trip to my fav weekend spot – Maravaghi. It’s safe to say that Jodes was suitably impressed by the clarity of the water and the mass amounts of fish. I was also impressed – on each trip to Maravaghi I manage to see or experience something new.
This time, the entertainment started on the boat ride over as a pod of dolphins kept jumping straight up and out of the water one after the other, like dolphins on a pogo stick. Once at Maravaghi, the new sights included some huge batfish, buckets of jelly fish, a baby shark, and a very close encounter with an exceptionally curious Titan Trigger fish that may or may not have been on a mission to eat me.
It was also my third attempt to see Manta Rays. Everything was on my side – a full moon and super strong current. I was feeling confident. Sure enough, I spotted one! Of course, it was about 15m below so looked little more than a dark blob, and was so fast I wasn’t able to get photographic evidence, but I saw it and that’s enough for me.
After just one very quick week, Jodes had to head back to Aus. Manyoni and I had one night to ourselves before we receive two more visitors today. Bring it on!