Thursday, December 19, 2013

Walking Nauru

On my first day off here in Nauru, my roommate and I decided to explore the island despite the heat, and set off to walk the perimeter of the country.

The beach edges are littered with pinnacles of phosphate, mined for all the good stuff long ago, and now actually make the view pretty unusual and stunning.

Palm trees along the way reminded us that we are in fact on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The blazing middle-of-the-day sun had us ducking into each and every local store that was dotted along the path, for refuge from the heat - which was not always successful. But always filled with local, friendly interaction and a surprise or two about the wares on sale.

As we progressed along the road lapping the island, we acquired sticks for safety, as a persistent warning from everyone about the island is about the wild, ravaging dogs hunting in packs. Stories of recent attacks have led to advise to walk with a stick, if at all, and certainly not alone.

We managed to walk two thirds of the way around the whole country, before my feet and tolerance of the heat gave way - and actually one of the locals said we were only just halfway, which was not the positive news I was hoping for! We also had a mild encounter with a couple of the four legged hazards of the island, which spooked me a little, for sure. Reviewing the map, however, once we were back with a beer in hand, we could see we only have a small portion of the country to explore on our next day off, to know we have checked out the whole island perimeter!

Not every place you visit can you say that!

I am conscious, however, that this is the good side of Nauru. Walking anti-clockwise, my camera has faced the beachside every time. Make no mistake, this island on the left hand view is one of financial ruin, and arid, harsh living conditions.

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