Least Visited, Day 6: The Quiet Thrills of Nauru

January 1, 2019

Since Nauru is such a small country, today the plan was to walk all the way around the perimeter of the island.

A family rides their bikes on the ring road

We had a late start, due to the celebrations last night, and didn’t depart the hotel until around noon. The highlight of breakfast was that there was a cereal other than corn flakes. In a small country that isn’t used to hosting tourists, you hang on to every thrill.

The group split, some heading straight to the harbor we went to on the first night. I was in the other group that hopped in a bus to the bank to draw out cash. With all of us at the hotel consistently drawing out cash, the ATM at the hotel was completely dry, and required us to go elsewhere to get money. This was told to us by the guides before coming in country, since ATMs are few and far between, so while it was inconvenient, it was also expected.

Our group then drove to the harbor just as the first group finished swimming and headed to the lunch restaurant. At first I was hesitant to jump in the water, because I didn’t want to hold up the group, but as Alistair noted, if we were to judge based on the dining situation yesterday for lunch, we would definitely have time to swim and eat without holding up the group.

the bay in the day

So, Justin, Calvin, Alistair and I jumped in the water. The cultural norm is to swim pretty fully clothed, as I was accustomed to in Vanuatu. This time, I brought my leggings and jumped in the water with leggings and a shirt. Calvin stood off to the side on the boat ramp, revealing that he doesn’t know how to tread water, and something about sinking due to muscle mass and blah blah blah.

We hopped out, very ungracefully, as there is no easy way. Justin and Calvin crawl out on the ramp, which is slimy from moss growth. Calvin comments that he looks like a sea monster. I try getting out on the steps, which are also slimy but at least have some metal rings for docking boats that give some sort of grip.


We head to the Anibare Bay Harbor restaurant, a short distance from the water. It’s a Chinese restaurant, and I get pineapple chicken and rice. Despite arriving late, my food arrives with everyone else’s. There’s a cute brown puppy wandering around outside the restaurant, where we are sitting, and he’s healthy looking. I’m so shocked to see so many stray or freely-roaming dogs here that are so healthy looking. In Vanuatu they either look thin or have mange. These are soft fluffy and fat. There’s also more variety in breeds. It’s like night and day.

After lunch we head back to the hotel and I notice the soreness in my right foot has never fully recovered from the intensity of exploring Sydney. I decide to push through and join the group on the round island walk, which would take about five hours. However, about ten minutes in, I realize that this pain is not disappearing, and that I’d have no contingency plan of transportation should I choose to quit later on and want to return to the hotel, and I want to be able to walk on my own in the upcoming days, so it’s best that I turn back early. I later find out that I didn’t really miss out, so I am glad I didn’t over exert myself for no reason.

Instead, I nap. Then dinner time rolls around and we hop on a bus to some Chinese restaurant that doesn’t want to host our group of ten people, so we walk across the street to J’s, another Chinese restaurant.

We order our food, and it shockingly comes in 15 minutes, and the orders are all correct. We thought the table beside us of Nauruan cops who got their food especially quickly was getting special treatment, but nope, it was just a restaurant with efficiency. I got lemon chicken, which was much better than the questionable chicken from lunch.

We met up with the rest of the group afterwards back at the hotel and hung out for a short bit, but everyone was pretty tired and headed off to bed.

Since today was New Year’s Day, we didn’t get a chance to do anything with a local guide since most were hangover and/or unwilling to work. But tomorrow, we will go on a small hike and see the inner part of the island for the first time with a local guide.