For reasons too tedious to explain it is neccessary to have the text seperately from the photos on this post. As you can see, Visale is a tad nicer than Honiara, and we were very pleased to get out here for a day. It’s a town in West Guadalcanal, down the coast road (the only road) from Honiara about 30 kilometers. It used to be quite inaccessible but the logging company fixed up a nice shiny new dirt road out there, so let’s all hear it for the loggers. They’ve just got a job to do.
Anyway it takes about an hour to drive. Several friends cycled out there, despite the broiling heat, which they said was not too difficult although I suspect their grip on sanity is rather tenuous. Myself and two chaps called Edward and Andrew dived to 30 meters to explore the wreck of a WW2 submarine. We stared in nervous excitement at what appeared to be unused torpedoes (Gosh!) but our friend back onshore told us they were only ballast tanks. Safer, but not as good a story.
Then when the riders had arrived we picnicked, Louise went snorkelling (her diving lessons are not set until June) and then me and Codes wandered about and had a good look at the town, chatted to folks and took these pictures. Visale is based around a large Catholic Church, built by some New Zealanders in the nineteen-sixties, which we thought was lovely but a local man told me was too small for the needs of the whole area. There is also a school and several other community buildings here. The area seemed peaceful, and several locals commented to me that this was how they liked it…signs erected throughout the area declare that “this settlement is now WEAPONS FREE. Please respect our wishes.”
You can’t blame ’em for liking it quiet. This used to be a real troublespot. It was certainly very scenic, too. The water is a startling blue and the velvet green of the mountains cannot really be captured in photographs. The rain swept down from the mountains looming above the coast, then the sun came out through the mist and the whole effect was rather…beguiling. We’ll certainly go back here again.