Our trip was coming to an end, for our mates Tamara and Kajsa at least, who we left on an airstrip in Seghe to fly on to the last location for us. The famed Upei Island resort was a perfect conclusion to the trip. The place has a very communal and albeit exclusive feel with the clientele during our stay all relatively wealthy but very nice.
Upei is famed for its diving and snorkeling and for our injured comrade hearing about the days trips to the various reefs must have been hell. I myself had been a bit slack and almost sacrilegious to the resort I had not got my dive ticket but really it didn't matter. The resorts main jetty is a sheer drop to forty meters in the center of a channel between the island and another and is frequented by all sorts of creatures including masses of black tip reef sharks, octopus, manta rays and hundreds of brightly colored fish species.
Swimming with sharks was an eerie and amazing experience and though black tip reef sharks are small and relatively harmless they come in numbers and with curiosity such that you still wonder if they were hungry….
Not far off the island there is also a manta ray cleaning station that is pretty special. The Mantas come in open mouthed and have the small feeder fish clean up their baleen. The island itself has some fantastic fauna with large bright yellow speckled monitors frequenting the huts and coconut crabs scattered through the forest. Harmless snakes too are common and I accidently stepped on one night returning to my cabin. It was fine though I think, darting off when I poked it afterward…
After just shy of a week in paradise with good food and company our trip came to an end and we flew back to Honiara where we cancelled the rest of the activities for Chris and Nina due to the leg and awaited the flight restfully instead.
The trip was amazing and I can't thank everyone who made it happen enough. It has made me realize just how much I am missing my family and friends while over here.