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Two Years & Twice Around the World...  

Federated States of Micronesia Flag FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: Kosrae


Mar 27. TOFOL The rain poured through the night and was still pouring when we woke up around 7:30 .  It didn’t leave us too optimistic about our day but when the rain lightened a bit we decided to seize the moment and head for the Lelu ruins. 

The Lelu ruins are on Lelu Island just off of Kosrae, connected by a two lane bridge.  The ruins were built in the 1400’s and tucked back behind some homes and stores are easily accessible to anyone.  Once you get in the middle of them you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.  They are largely overgrown with vegetation giving them an Indian Jones feeling.  They were constructed primarily of black basalt rock and coral with carefully built walls dividing the different areas.  A canal cut through the ruins and on the far side there were tombs of the old kings.  One was empty but from the size of it the Kosraean’s must have been small people in those days.  It was dicey walking around the rocks with puddles of water and a slowing increasing rain so after about an hour and a half of exploring we called it quits and made our way back to Tofol.

The exit to the ruins went by a school and the children were giggling at us in our rain ponchos.  The people here don’t seem to do much to block against the rain.  We saw a couple of small girls wrapped in a towel but not a single person wore a rain jacket.  It was quite humid and if it weren’t for our cameras we might have done the same.  Sweating under the poncho probably made us as wet as if we had gotten rained on.

From the bridge back to Kosrae we were able to get a clear view of the Sleeping Lady.  That is the local name for the mountains that cut across the middle of the island.  They look like a woman lying on her back.  The reef around Kosrae was some distance from the shore keeping the water close to the island calm.  Near the end of the bridge we passed a giant clam farm. 

In Tofol we had lunch at the Island Café and worked out way through town to the Women’s Center and Visitor’s Center looking for local crafts. The Visitor’s Center had a nice selection of local shark carvings made of mangrove wood and real shark teeth.  The artists have to comb the reef to find the teeth lost by sharks for their carvings. We bought some for gifts.  Further up the road we check with the Police Station about getting a license plate.  They directed us across the street to the city dump.  It was a pile of rapidly dilapidating cars and only a few actually still had plates so we found our plate but would have to come back later with a Leatherman to retrieve it.  Since it was now past the extended lunch hour we tried the Museum.  The doors were locked but a rear door revealed some folks in back who let us wander through the one room display.  It wasn’t an elaborate exhibit but gave a brief history from the explorers to the Christian missionaries in the mid-1800s to occupation by the Spanish, Germans, and Japanese and jurisdiction under the US until Kosrea, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap voted to become the Federated States of Micronesia , later negotiating free association with the United States.

The Post Office was our final errand before heading back to the KVR. As luck would have it the rain has stopped for most of the afternoon so our visit to Lelu was poorly timed.  In questionable weather Kosrae didn’t have a lot of activities available so we spent the afternoon lounging around our bungalow.  The weather cleared up enough to enjoy a view of the ocean from our veranda and watch the hermit crabs battle over an empty shell.

In order to retrieve our license plate before dark we got a cab into town around 6:00 and Rob worked away at the plate until it came off.  Since we were in town we opted for dinner, and some CNN, at the Island Café.  They called us a cab to get back to our hotel.  Everyone on the island is relaxed and cheerful often asking how we were doing or how was our meal.  No doubt they have their own problems but the people of Kosrae seemed to be well enough off and their content nature seemed genuine.  It was enviable really.  I think back to “want, want, want” mantra of the Bay Area and wonder what the fuss was about anyway.

Mar 28. KVR We took a day off to do laundry and catch up in our journals, slurp coconuts and each fresh Kosraen limes.  The weather wasn’t too bad but just enjoying the breeze off of the ocean from our bungalow felt nice.  The hot showers in our open air bathroom were a luxury after the sparse amounts of water available while we were in The Marshall’s.  Lathering up with pure coconut oil was wonderful as well.  The bug factor was annoying at times but not bad during they day.  We had a few mosquitoes in the evenings and one cane spider made a visit but most of the critters were outside our porch – the dueling hermit crabs and skittish land crabs.  The land crabs periodically crawled under the bamboo wall of our shower and seemed to enjoy the splashes of fresh water.

MARSHALL ISLANDS Majuro March 11 March 12 March 13 March 14-15 March 16 Alinglaplap March 17 March 18 March 19 March 20 March 21 March 22 March 23 Majuro March 24

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA Kosrae March 25-26 March 27-28 Pohnpei March 29-31 April 1-2 April 3-4 April 5-7 Chuuk April 8-9 April 10-11

GUAM April 12-23