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David Astley | all galleries >> Kiribati > Tarawa 60
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Tarawa 60
14 January 2005 David Astley

Tarawa 60

Kiribati, Central Pacific

My Air Nauru Boeing 737-400 jet (VH-RON) landing at Bonriki airport – two hours earlier than originally scheduled. Flight arrival and departure times can change from week to week, so check with the airline on the day before you leave otherwise you may find you have to wait another week for the next flight. This particular aircraft – the only one in Air Nauru’s fleet at the time - was seized by creditors in December 2005, after which the airline ceased to exist under that name. The airline was relaunched the following year under the name ‘Our Airline’ and now operates a single weekly flight from Nauru to Tarawa and Majuro using a 20-year-old Boeing 737-300 which was bought from America West Airlines (after it was damaged in a hailstorm) which doesn’t make me so keen to fly into Kiribati again.

Nikon D100 , AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED
f/11, 1/400, 45mm, cropped full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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Guest 12-Aug-2013 21:00
Hello. I enjoyed the tour and your commentary. Great pictures. thanks for sharing. USA
Guest 10-Jul-2013 05:12
hi is anna gee i like to here more buot kiribati?
Guest 27-Jan-2013 12:41
Thanks a lot for these pictures. I'm from Belgium and I'm going to Tarawa in a few days.
bula 13-Oct-2012 16:26
there is no more 'our airline' its 'Air Pacific' that is currently running all the flights to Tarawa from Nadi......vinaka for the pictures they are fascinating....
Carolina 02-Oct-2012 00:37
I am friends with a missionary who come from Kiribati Tarawa and I was curious to see what her island looked like. I couldn't find any pictures until I found yours, which are quite revealing and excellent! Thank you for posting them. They gave me a great idea of what type of world she came from. It was very interesting to read your comments on the photos as well. I was able to read and educate myself a little better about a place far from home. Thank you!
Linda 26-Sep-2012 11:38
Thank you for these photos which brought back many memories of my visits to Tarawa during the mid 70s. I always stayed with local friends in various villages, I don't remember the mozzies bothering me only the great hospitality and more crayfish meals than you could poke a stick at. It helped that I was one of very few expats able to speak the language fluently at that time, in fact, in all my visits, I never came across another Imatang !
It is very sad that foreign aid identified an apparent project for ramping up the causeways and blocking the tidal flow from ocean side to the lagoon between each islet. Friends tell me everything is now dying lagoon side due to pollution. How short sighted !
Guest 15-Jun-2012 20:34
I discovered these islands after my sister visited late last month. She went on Gov't business as she deals with climate change issues and its effects on small island states. She also visited Figi.
I love the photos. they are so soothing.
Goliath Leonard 27-Jul-2011 12:35
I love to visit this place their cultre is like my culture from your discription
Guest 29-Dec-2010 22:22
The photos are terrific and I love your descriptions... looks like a real Paradise except for the mosquitoes
but hey, I don't know when I might ever get there so your pictures are the next best thing..... and they don't bite.
I see from the post that not too many people even get to your site, and obviously not many ever
get to these islands either. I'll suggest your site to some of my friends so they might enjoy your
photos and the islands. I like your pictures in general and will look at some of the other
wonderful places you have been. Hope you go more places...... Thanks.
Anthony 04-Mar-2010 11:43
We lived in Betio @1974-1979 , we had a new house built for us - so quite possible is one that the poster above built, I also went to the new school, great stuff.
Richard van Kuyk 26-Jun-2009 09:26
I made a comment on two other photographs as I scrolled down the album but couln't resist to write some more.

I and two other builders from New Zealand spent 9 weeks on Tarawa in 1978, we had contracted to build a school and two houses for the Universety of the South Pacific. A local builder by the name of Fakaofa supplied us with labour, but only a few could speak a little English, so most of our communication was done by guestures etc..
We found the locals incredible friendly, and they would share whathever they had with us , but that also meant that they took timber planks and crate sides from us, we had so much, they had so little!!!
We have fond memories of our 9 weeks there, but not so of the mozzies, they are a real pest, we must have burned hundreds of these coils. Fresh drinking water was a problem at the time, they had a long dry spell and it rained the day we arrived, so that was a good omen.
Joy wagner 26-May-2009 02:51
Thank you so much for the photos and the detailed description of your stay in Tarawa. My husband and I spent two weeks on Abemama, one of the outer islands, in February 2008, volunteering with SEARCH FOR ONE, a development and medical organization.

We plan on returning late this year for a one to two year volunteer stay. Your stories resonated with some of our own experiences, bringing forth a chuckle at times! If you ever come back, plan on coming out to Abemama for a visit. We won't charge you a dime, and we'll cook meals for you!

Joy and Drue Wagner
Guest 09-Mar-2009 18:17
great set of pics!
thanks for it and for the comments.
I'm travelling to Tarawa in May for a month, this is great info, thanks.
I dind't like so much this last comment about the airlines hepo it's better now.
Guest 16-Feb-2009 04:03
A couple of years ago when I used to fly there, I recalled seeing a dog running across the runway just before take off.....LOL!!
Guest 16-Feb-2009 04:00
Hope you enjoyed the full blast reverse breaks coming on seconds after the wheels touch the tarmac.....LOL!!
Guest 03-Dec-2008 13:51
Enjoyed your photos and comments. They made my day.
Cheers, Gavin
Guest 07-Feb-2008 22:56
Wow...fascinating!!!! Really enjoyed looking at the pics and reading the comments
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