L'Esprit de la Mer
Dr Chris Bates
Thu 28 Aug 2014 07:38
days fly by on this lovelly island. We have been befriended by the Banabans and invited into their homes,given presents of fruit.
Today we climbed a path that lead out of the villge fringing the vegetable gardens to the ridge for the viewe . It was a long hot climb along a little used path and very narrow . The view from the ridge was good but better was the long valley on the otherside which dropped away in the disatance to the coral reef . We decided to go on and walked for 2 hours through rain forest .We had no food with us but cut wild papaya to eat. The wild bananas were very green and the coconuts to high . Eventually we reached the sea and found a small banaban village of six or seven palm huts. The men were roasting copra for sale back in catherine bay . The women were gathering shells from the reef.
We introduced ourselves and surprisingly despite their isolation they knew about us. They invited us into a hut putting clean matting on the floor . We removed our shoes and sat cross legged . They offered us coconut water (from the stem not the nut) which was very sweet and land crab which they had cooked . Both were delicious . We told stories for a while and then they escorted us back via the reef which was longer  but flat . They were carrying heavy sacks of copra to exchange for rice.
When we arrived at the copra she3d in catherine bay the agent had not turned up so it was awasted journey and the children had no rice . I bought them a sack of rice in the village store and they were very grateful