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Two Years & Twice Around the World...  

Flag of the Republic of the Marshall Islands THE MARSHALL ISLANDS


Mar 24. MAJURO The sunrise provided some comfort, enabling us to at least see more clearly but we were still several hours from Majuro.  It wasn’t until about 8:30 that we finally saw some tufts of land on the horizon, another hour before we entered the lagoon and still another hour until we reached the Delap Dock in Majuro.  On top of the grease and soot we were also caked in salt.  The boat was a mess.  The Marshallese just went about their morning, eating coconuts and sorting out their things, without any sour expressions over the difficult night.  The rooster sitting on the corner of our engine cover was someone as perky as ever.  The caged chickens were looking water logged but the poor chickens that had been left loose on the deck with their feet tied together were a sad sight.  The owner gathered them up one by one and laid them on the chicken cage.  At first look I thought the poor things hadn’t survived the night but upon closer inspection they were breathing and blinking the salt out of their eyes, trying to recover from the tragic experience.  I am not sure if they were lucky to alive or not. I had heard the piglets squeal a few times in the night but they were silent and I decided not to look.

We were both tired and ragged.  My skirt was becoming stiff we the week’s worth of dirt, grease and salt and my throat was scratchy from a night’s worth of breathing tug boat exhaust.  We had gotten more sleep than we expected to but it hadn’t exactly been a pleasant night.  Richard said his chair worked okay but he still had gotten soaked up to his chest.  We passed the Oleanda as we pulled into dock and soon everyone was jumping ashore and passing over their belongings. Our packs had stayed in tact in the storage closet and we didn’t waste any time lugging them ashore and making our way to the Flame Tree Backpacker Hostel.

Just as when we had arrived at the Backpacker two weeks earlier there was no one available to check us in.  Richard had passed through Majuro enough times to know the owner (another guy from Philly oddly enough) and after waiting for some time he called him and was assured that someone would be there very soon.  We decided that if no one showed up by the time we ate our lunch we were going to look for a new place to crash. Patience wasn’t exactly our best quality at that moment.  We were even planning to splurge on a room with A/C.  As we were finishing our last bites the guy did show up but the only A/C room that was available was the infamous Room No. 1.  It wasn’t a band night that night so we could have managed but we were skeptical.  When we arrived we had seen the staff roust the maid from Room No. 4 and it looked as though she had been sleeping.  So, she was either sleeping in a customer’s room, which was unlikely, or the staff were keeping the best A/C room for their own use.  That didn’t sit well with us so we grabbed our packs and took a cab to the Outrigger Hotel.

The Outrigger wasn’t exactly budget accommodations but it wasn’t outrageous at $70 per night.  It was a comfortable place but really more of a plush inn than a full fledged hotel.  However, it did offer an air conditioned room, cable TV, a proper shower and tub, and a laundry room in each building.  We felt the extra $25 was worth having a hot shower, not having to do our laundry in the sink, and watching the news on the war in Iraq . 

The only errand for the day was to get a refund on our roundtrip boat fare on the Litakbouki.  The guy at the transport authority tried to tell us that they put us on the YFU as a substitute but we explained that the YFU didn’t have a cabin and we actually ended up coming back on the deck of the Ratak.  He took us in his car to the other end of town to talk with Wallace Peter.  They couldn’t really argue the refund since the YFU hadn’t even returned anyway.  It was a bit annoying because Alan told us that there should be no charge to ride the YFU anyway because it had been chartered.  In the end we were given half of our money back. 

A bath never felt so good.  The water turned brown when I first filled it up and I thought there was a problem with the water quality but it was just me.  After a couple of rinses I was feeling like myself again. From the soot that came from my nose I must have inhaled enough junk to match a carton of cigarettes.  That couldn’t have been healthy.

Rob was suffering from the touch of a fever and fell asleep.  I did a few loads of laundry to clean the tent, ponchos and clothes that were filthy from our Ailinglaplap adventure.  I ran into Ferdinand in the corridor and thought we might make it down to his room for a drink but after we ordered dinner in we just crashed.  

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