Tomorrow morning I leave Samoa for Fiji. That should begin several intensive weeks of travel. I will cross the date line for the 5th time from the 14th to the 15th of July.
I will then rent a car and drive to Suva, Fiji where I will try to get my visa for Kiribati on Monday. If they can’t process my visa in one day, the country has serious issues. I then drive back to Nadi that night to catch a Tuesday morning flight to Noumea, New Caledonia on the 20th.
I then have 3 days in New Caledonia till I leave for Vanuatu. I don’t plan on doing a lot in New Caledonia beyond exploring the capital. As previously mentioned, in Vanuatu I will be visiting a volcano on the isle of Tanna and visiting a John Frum (Cargo) cult. I am hoping they embrace me as their god.
I then am currently scheduled to fly stand by on a flight to Honiara in the Solomon Islands. Here is an article I just read today about the Solomons and logging. I had no idea they had so few tourists. My primary goal in the Solomons is to visit Rennell Island. The largest raised coral atoll in the world. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I’ll then head off to Papua New Guinea, where I am thinking of leaving the capital Port Moresby as soon as possible and getting out to New Britian or one of the other islands in the archipelago.
After PNG, it is back to Honiara to connect on a flight to Nauru and Tarawa, Kiribati. My places visited list will probably need to include some asterisks as my ‘visit’ to Nauru will probably be as short as the country is large.
From here, I may have to go back to Fiji to get to Hawaii as there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of flight to the north of Kiribati. I may have a stop over in Tuvalu before Hawaii.
That should conclude the most logistically challenging part of my trip. The remaining pacific islands should be pretty easy to reach as they are all serviced by Continental Airlines Micronesia. My big “to do” list in Micronesia includes” jellyfish swimming in Palau, wreck diving at Chuuk lagoon, and trying to visit the atolls in the Marshall Islands where the US did above ground nuclear testing in the 40s and 50s.
I’m loving the hell out of the Pacific, but I’ll also be glad to be done. It is very frustrating to travel within the region.