Solomon Islands 9, Western Provinces

The days we spent in Drift Wood Lodge were pure magic. Every day we went with our small boats to paradisiacal islands and could see the most magnificent, healthy coral reefs. When snorkelling, I was sometimes surrounded by thousands of fish swimming in a group. Time is different when in the ocean. Everything seems to be slower, more graceful, peaceful.



Going snorkelling and free diving with our crew.




Lorenz made photos with an underwater camera. However, it was only able to capture a glimpse of the beauty of coral reefs.





The abundance of different forms and colours of this huge living being is so amazing that everybody was in pure awe.








The coral reefs are an example of harmony and beauty. A coral reef is  a humongous living being hosting plants in its inside, which provides nourishment for the corals. In the Solomon Islands, the coral reefs are still healthy, but the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is in the process of dying. Global warming causes a big stress on the corals. In order to cope with the stress, they push out the plants they need for nourishment. This leads to a starvation of the corals and they become white – coral bleaching. In 30 years, 50% of the world’s coral reefs have died. Global warming leads to a disaster in the ocean and on land!













One time, two manta rays were swimming underneath us, checking us out. They swam like angels of the ocean.








We saw many different kinds of beautiful fish. Sometimes, we saw turtles swimming by and often sharks. Sharks are not dangerous (if you do not have an injury and do not touch them). On our way back to the Drift Wood Lodge, our guide spotted a group of pilot whales beside our boat. We all jumped into the water. There were about 25 pilot whales communicating with each other and also about 100 sharks.  Even the crew members never saw something like that. It was amazing!





Spotting pilot whales beside our boat


In this part of the world, the oceans are still clean with crystal clear water. No trash anywhere, no plastic. Also no noise and pollution of any kind.




The calm water reflected the magnificent cumulus clouds.




Every time we went snorkelling, some of the crew members went harpooning for our lunch or dinner. They all were masters in free diving. Matt, our Australian guide, could dive  65 meters and hold his breath for five minutes. Observing him when he was diving, he moved like a huge fish – calm, graceful and elegant.




Dewey catching a fish with his harpoon.




Kleme,  preparing the fish on an outside grill. The first place they decided to make fire was a place where a turtle laid and buried her eggs, so they left it untouched.





Rosa making a basket out of palm leaves for our food









Kleme found a baby dove and took it back to the Lodge to care for it

Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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