Sohano Ocean View Apartments

Sohano Island

A morning view from the entry platform of Sohano Ocean View Apartments

November 2014:  No, I don’t do reviews.  But, being in Sohano Island, in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, I just got inspired to take photos of the place where we stayed once again.  Not to mention that I promised the owner of Sohano Ocean View Apartments, Mr Ralph Christen, that I’d do another post about his place, a promise I need to keep lest I won’t be given a room on my next visit.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

The platform that floats on Buka Passage and the series of stairs that leads to the apartments.

That’s of course a lie because I know the man to be hospitable.  The truth is, Ralph told me that he got more people visiting after my previous post (see Scenic Sohano) and that jives with a number of e-mails I got inquiring about the place. And so here it is, just another glimpse of Sohano Ocean View Apartments and its surroundings.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

The main platform where visitors board and disembark boats to and from Buka or other islands sits on a couple of dinghies. The water below the platform is crystal clear and teeming with fish. I really regretted that I did not bring my underwater cam with me.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

Local children swim and beat the heat under the shade near the platform. If swimming by the platform is not enough, boats and gear for fishing, snorkeling or diving can rented from the apartment and cruises to the outlying islands and atolls can be arranged.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

Upon reaching the top of the entry ladder, the perfectly-designed, wooden hexagonal building (Ralph’s German friend spent years working patiently on each room) comes into view.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

The suite and upper rooms of the apartment enjoys a great view of Buka town and the main island of Bougainville as well as the Buka Passage.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

From the apartment, Ralph’s property across the Buka Passage, where a catamaran completely made of wood is parked, is visible. Visitors can rent this boat for a cruise around the island or a swim in the atolls.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

On a clear day, even the distant atolls can are visible from the suite’s terrace.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

The wreckage of a Japanese plane and the site of the former Japanese military headquarters is just a few steps from the apartment.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

The surrounding gardens of the apartment are well-kept and ever-blooming. In the middle of the garden is a cabana where one can relax and enjoy a good book.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

In the yard also sits this truck which says “powered by coconut”, a curious item for one who has read about the civil war in Bougainville or seen the documentary, “The Coconut Revolution” where Bougainvillean freedom fighters, in order to survive the government’s blockade, processed coconut oil to power their trucks, generators and boat engines.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

Aside from his wife, Ralph’s closest deputies, his two adorable daughters, who appear to also love travelling, would occasionally join guests at the breakfast table or welcome and send off guests.

Sohano Ocean View Apartments

And when one is about to leave the island in the morning, the glorious sunrise shows up above the Buka Passage, promising a new day to the traveller and the whole of Bougainville.

 

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