When we arrived in Gizo by ferry from Honiara, it was in the middle of the night, around 1am. Let me tell you – do ask your accommodation to pick you up from the pier if at all possible, since it is not easy at all to find the smaller guesthouses in the dark! We were walking along the road already for a while, searching for Cegily Guesthouse, when luckily I asked a passing men about it, and it turned out that he was from the guesthouse and came looking for us since they were worried we would not find the way. So sweet! And very lucky that we asked him, for there is no way we would have been able to spot the small trail leading up to the guesthouse otherwise, with no sign or anything. We desperately needed a shower of course, and then just fell into our bed!
Next day, we wanted to get our bearings of Gizo. We headed into „town“ (or shall I say: village) and wandered a bit around the market. Then we made our way to Dive Gizo, the only dive shop on the island. We booked 2 dives for the next day and rented some bicycles for the rest of the afternoon to explore the little island.
It was lots of fun cycling through little villages with kids screaming „helloooo“ to us, and seeing some pretty little beaches along the way. Unfortunately they don’t really qualify for swimming, as there is lots of coral and the water is shallow. So we just cycled further and further, with many photo stops along the way, taking in the beautiful green nature of Gizo and enjoying the total remoteness of being the only tourists around.
We didn’t bring enough water though and there were no shops along the way, so at one point we decided to turn around, instead of cycling all the way to the western point of the island and end of the road. Too bad, I would have loved to do it all the way! But at this point I felt very exhausted and energy-depleted, probably because of dehydration, and struggled to make it back to town. While I would very much recommend renting bikes from Gizo Dive and exploring the island, it would have been better to do it as a full day trip, take our time more, and go all the way to the end. And take enough water and food!
Next day, we got up early to go out diving. The dive sites we visited were the wreck of Toa Maru, a really cool dive of a beautifully eerie wreck where which we could penetrate at different points, and Grand Central Station. GCS is a famous dive that can have strong currents and therefore, large pelagics showing up. We were lucky the current was decent but not too strong and saw lots of grey reef sharks and schools of other fish. At one point, it was like diving in a fish soup! There was a huge group of barracudas which stayed with us for a while as well at one point. Two really cool dives!
Between the dives, we had lunch on a tiny picturesque island. The lunch was a fish bbq which tasted delicious and around the island there was some good snorkelling where we spotted a turtle! All in all, a great day out with Gizo Dive, highly recommended.
Originally we had planned to visit the island of Kolombangara next, however accommodation there was pricey and we were not in the mood for camping with lots of rain at various parts of the day. Everything was rather muddy, and we didn’t want our first camping experience like that! Also, the trails probably would have been too muddy to make it up to the crater anyways. Wow, and it’s „dry season“ here. Really wouldn’t want to visit in rainy season! So we decided to stay a day longer in Gizo while trying to figure out our program for the next few days. It was a grey and rather rainy day, but we still opted to go snorkeling at Imagination Island for a couple of hours – a good decision, even in the rain! Their house reef is surprisingly beautiful, lots of healthy coral and smaller reef fish – and a couple resident black tip reef sharks, which we kept spotting here and there.