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Very nice camp site on an isolated part of the Tarawa atoll, administered by the government and supervised by a watchman, his old father, his dog and his cat. The best way to get there is to pay somebody to take you by boat. It is possible to go by minibus to the northern end of the road and by foot the rest of the way, but this is only possible when the tide is low!
Updated Apr 20, 2005
Address: Pay in advance at presidents office, Bairiki
Phone: 686 21183
The first day of our stay at Otiintai we saw a big tunafish laying outside the hotel kitchen, and we could smell it the rest of our stay. Not that it smelled badly, but anything we ate in that hotel had the taste of tunafish afterwards, even the steak. Maybe they have only one frying pan, and maybe they don't wash it very often?
When people in Kiribati are hungry, they can walk out into the lagoon and throw their fishing net in the water, they will always catch something. Theese lobsters (or whatever they are) tasted quite OK, but sometimes the seafood had a funny taste, not only from the tunafish but something else ... Does it have to do with the fact that the sewer runs into the lagoon? We did not get sick, but it wasn't very apetizing ...
Favorite Dish: Seafood.
Updated May 25, 2005
Address: Otiintai Hotel
Most of the places we ate they tried to sell some kind of western or asian inspired food, often with imported ingredients. The food was often quite tasteless. I don't know why, when they have an ocean full of fish, lobsters, shell ..., and they do have their own vegetables and fruits, depending on the local habitat on the different islands.
The absolutely best meal we tasted during our 3 1/2 week stay on the Gilberts, was made in this kitchen. Our friend Keetia from Otiintai Hotel invited us to her families home in a nearby village. Her sister in law was the cook.
There are good "restaurants" on Tarawa, take a look at AyrinHiro's Kiribati page, they seem to be very satisfied with the food in Mauri Paradise Resort.
Updated May 25, 2005
Address: Bikenibeu, Tarawa
The road on Tarawa is trafficated by minibuses with 12 passanger seats and a wooden bench. Most of them are family run, with the man driving and the wife selling tickets, but a few companies have up to five buses. They stop wherever you want, and the fare is low. But you must expect to sit in someones lap or to have somebody sitting in yours. Our favorite hobby while travelling around was counting passangers, maximum was 24!
Written Apr 20, 2005