Solomon Islands: Inside the Land that Time Forgot | Fabien Astre

A glimpse of

the enchanting Solomon Islands

 

 

Nearly 1000 islands surrounded by beautiful reefs and lagoons make up this archipelago nation. Here, culture and lifestyles have been shaped by an intimate relationship with the Ocean.

 

Within the Melanesian region of the Pacific, just south of the Equator, there is a cluster of alluring islands. Here, an incredibly diverse and charming population continues to nurture a culture that has changed little over the years. These are the Happy Isles… or Solomon Islands. Best known to outsiders for its fascinating WWII history, volcanic activity, and incredible diving, Solomon Islands deserves to be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’ for many more reasons.

I was fortunate enough to spend over 1 year living and working in the small town of Gizo in the Western Province. I prefer traveling to remote and off-the-beaten-path places, but I have never been anywhere quite like the Solomons. No matter which island you are on, of the 1000+ islands that make up the archipelago nation, you are guaranteed to feel worlds away from everything you’ve ever known. And it’s wonderful! While there is obvious tropical paradise-like beauty all around you (above and below the sea), the people are what makes the Solomons such a unique and unforgettable nation. With their sunny smiles and friendly ways, it’s hard to imagine that their recent descendants were fierce warriors and headhunters.

Today, Solomon Islanders get around in the same dug-out canoes and tell the same fishing God stories as their ancestors. And despite the diversity of the population (over 70 local languages are spoken!) Solomon Islanders all continue to have one thing in common: the ocean sustains them. Their culture and lifestyles have been shaped by the intimate relationship they have with their marine environment … which has existed for thousands of years. In many rural communities the moon is still used as a calendar, since associated changes in tide and fish activity/behaviour is what matters most. The day of the week means nothing.

Emerald-coloured lagoons; vibrant coral reefs teeming with life; children being children; the sound of laughter and angelic singing; markets full of fresh, cheap, organic deliciousness; island time and the absence of stress; a hammock in the shade of a coconut tree; a full moon lighting up the night in a way you probably can’t imagine. It’s impossible to paint a full picture of what it’s like to visit the Solomon Islands. You simply need to go and find out for yourself!

 


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