A taste of Italy

Refreshing falls at Mt Austen

Refreshing falls at Mt Austen

Over the last three weeks, we’ve been blessed again with lovely visitors.  This time it was Christina and Lorenzo, all the way from Italy.  By now, we are starting to get our visitors’ schedule down pat.  Depending on the amount of time you stay, it will inevitably involve:

  • An (occasionally late) welcome at the airport, with a cold coconut.
  • Dragging you along to a hike or two in Honiara’s hills (Mataniko, Kakobona, Tenaru or Mt Austen), involving much cursing to get there, a refreshing swim and waterfall half way through, much cursing to get back, and three days recovering from all the bruises, scratches and stings. This time, we took Christina and Lorenzo to Mt Austen, sustaining a sting for a plant that lasted 4 days.
  • A day trip and picnic to relaxing Visale beach, and a snorkelling visit to the WWII shipwreck at Mbonege beach (rough ocean permitting).
  • An overnight trip to Maravaghi to get away from it all and see spectacular snorkelling.
  • A visit to the art gallery, craft markets and, rarely, the museum.
  • Several days/afternoons spent by one of the hotel’s pools with a cold drink (Coral Sea, Heritage or Honiara Hotel) because, let’s be honest, it’s too hot to do anything else.
  • A trip to the Central or SDA Markets to smell the fish, look at the exotic fruit and veg, and do the grocery shop on behalf of Isabel.
  • Sitting in front of the TV, fan as high as it can go, watching foreign news or old movies while being harassed by the parrot because, let’s be honest, it’s too hot to do anything else.
  • Countless trips to the bank, bottled water shop, Fantastic corner store and the bulk shop….to do the grocery shop on behalf of Isabel.
  • Excessive amounts of eating because, well, it’s too hot to do anything else! By this I mean dinner at the Taj Mahal, the Korean Restaurant, and sunset drinks at The Ofis.  For those who like fish, there’s also a lunchtime Kokoda at El Shaddhai, and the Sunday evening all you can eat Japanese buffet (read:  all you can eat sashimi).  We’re also kind enough to cook the occasional meal, provided you’re happy to indulge in Zambian nshima, and vegan dessert experiments.
  • If you’re also lucky, you can also expereince a trip to the doctor for one of the Pacific’s latest tropical outbreaks. This month, it’s Red Eye!

Actually, it’s Manyoni and I who are the lucky ones.  Not only do we get to enjoy fantastic company but our guests always seem so adaptable to the hot and slow Honiara lifestyle.  In the case of our latest Italian residents, we were also treated to delicious pasta, risotto, a pizza bake-off and vegan mayo.  For that, we are so grateful.

So now you know what to expect, start booking your trip to Hotel Ross-Banda, where the love and red eye abound!

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