Sadly, I did not get a chance to see either Pteropus admiralitatum or Pteropus rayneri, two species I really would have liked to see. They appear to be quite difficult to see on Guadalcanal but not so much in Western Province. Birding was alright on Guadalcanal, especially in the mountains but that too is apparently much better in Western Province. Next time then…
When I was up in the mountains, I had a fabulous view over the coastline, including Lungga Point. That is where most of the battles happened. It was hard not to think of all those people who died there, so far away from home. They had to deal with diseases, extreme humidity and heat in addition to the bullets, and had been ill-prepared. While this may have been a decisive battle, it was also absolute carnage.
Seeing the memorials in Vilu Museum was really humbling. It definitely was a reminder of the horrors of war. I did not mean to make this a depressing read but I strongly believe that it is important to remember them.
The most obvious remnant of the war? The Henderson airfield, now known as Honiara International Airport. Built partly by the Japanese, it is what lead the Americans to invade the island in the first place.
Honiara, the capital, is now a much happier place and the people from Solomon Islands are definitely some of the nicest people on the planet. It’s difficult to believe how different it must have been, 70 years ago.