Monday, 18 April 2011

2nd Annual Banana Festival

After discussing our weekend adventure over breakfast Saturday morning we decided it best to attend the second annual Talofofo Banana Festival. Island Time magazine promotes it  saying it is "for both locals and tourist to experience locally grown bananas, banana recipes and food". Yum. Armed with sunglasses, bottles of water, a map (designed only for tourists hot spots), and directions from a hotel staff member, we hit the road. "Leave the hotel, turn right at the first light. Right at the next light onto Marine Corps Drive. Then go to the turn loop and go up that road. I don't know the name of that road. Then just go straight. You'll find it." Walking out the door Ryan and I just laughed thinking we might as well drive to the palm tree and hope for the best. Seriously, go straight and we'll find it. Alright. 

Good news. We did find the festival. After driving the wrong way on Marine Corps Drive and passing Ipan Beach Park (festival location) we arrived. The festival was not what we expected. The entire park was no bigger than Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. With maybe a dozen vendors we had the chance to see the classic festival souvenirs including over sized inflatable animals, glow-in-the-dark necklaces, and balloon creations. The animal park include a 'tropical caribou'. I kind of think it was just a caribou. A few tables were set up with literature about the value of bananas. We didn't see any banana recipes. Next year, I'm going to teach all the Talofofo residents how to make Banana Pudding. They won't know what hit 'em.
bunch of bananas and pepers. 

The highlight for me (Em) was the man selling fresh crab. Yes, fresh is the right way to describe them being they were all still alive. We had heard about a creature on the island called a Coconut Crab. I'll confess I didn't buy into the stories. Then I saw it. A Coconut Crab does not get its name from it's appearance. Instead it is known for its ability to open a coconut with its humongous  pincher (yes, that is a scientific term). They crack the coconut open and eat the meat. Warning: don't get your fingers, or your arms, caught in his grip. You could loose phalanges. 

Since we are preparing to move into our rental house I took the chance to look at some tropical plants a nursery was selling. The colors and textures of topical plants are so different from what we grew up with in the mountains. I want to try to plant some of these. They look pretty resilient and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to keep it alive with my brown thumb. 

Well since the festival was a bit of a flop we continued on down the road. Em took the chance to get into the ocean (Pacific Ocean to be exact). The beach is coral so you can see the breaking waves in the distance. I did see a shell I wanted take with me, but after reaching down to pick it up and little pinchers coming out after me, I decided to leave it be. 
Ryan went trudging through the brush looking for the Miliana Japanese Pillbox that was advertised on the side of the road. He never found it. 
We took a chance for a photo-op and decided it really is more fun to snap a pic like the Japanese tourists. 
note Ryan's "peace" sign
The news highlight from this past week is from a construction crew working on a bridge we drove over on our way to the festival. While digging, part of the crew uncovered an unexploded Japanese ordnance. The Navy EOD removed it. Rumor has it, last month the same crew uncovered human remains from the Japanese invasion. Did you know the Japanese invaded Guam within the same hour as attacking Pearl Harbor? Many miss this fact because the history books date the invasion on December 8. Its a different date only because of the international date line. Your piece of useless knowledge for today. 

Off for the next adventure on our rock in the middle of the Pacific.

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