Saturday, December 06, 2008

Like having an entrance to a beehive in front of your own face!

You haven't experienced mosquitos until you have been to Takuu Island and photographed the giant taro.

Takuu is a short boat trip or lagoon wade through shallow warm waters from the friendly village of Nukutoa in the Mortlock Atoll. Visiting times are between dawn and 3pm. It is forbidden and also very unlucky to stay beyond 4pm.

When visiting Takuu it is fashionable to dress as a beekeeper. There are no shops on Takuu or Nukutoa selling beekeepers clothing but suitable facsimiles can be constructed from boiler suits, paper safety suits, wide brimmed hats and mosquito netting.

It is expected that visitors to the island not appropriately attired whip themselves with palm leaves. This ritual if consistently applied may discourage as much as 10% of all mosquitos.

Visitors to Takuu will want to photograph the giant taro. These impressive plants grow to over twice the height of a man and have huge wide leaves. Other types of taro on Takuu are worth viewing too. Visitors to the island will be impressed by the size and depth of many of the taro pits, some of which are hand dug to below sea level!

Of course the highlight of the trip for many people is the mosquitos. Those visitors unused to travel in a major tropical swamp will be amazed by the numbers and size of the little animals. It's like having an entrance to a beehive in front of your own face! I'm going back today and I hope you get the chance to visit soon.

-Jeffrey 27/11/08

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