Wednesday, 28 January 2009 1:57 PM

A Slippery Walk to the Other Side

People with bridge phobia fear crossing a bridge and would do anything to avoid crossing one, but where does that leave them when it comes to just a coconut trunk in place to get to the other side?

Visiting Ngella in the Central Islands Province, Solomon Times came across a man walking along a coconut trunk to get to the other side with talents of a tightrope performer in circus shows.

It looks simple watching Simon Ghito crossing over back and forth with ease, but stepping on the trunk, it was slippery from water moist.

"This is the only way for us to get to the other side," Mr. Ghito said of the approximately six meters cross-over.

"It is good that the trunk is not over the river because that would have been more dangerous with the strong flow of current."

During high tides and bad weather that brings in strong sea current, "we use a bamboo to support us from falling into the water".

He said crossing over for the locals is no problem but the chance of visitors falling into the sea is very high "because a lot of them do not know the trick of balancing yourself across the slippery trunk".

Mr. Ghito said having the trunk across came about after young children who needed to get to other side usually get sick from having to swim across.

While it is a struggle for visiting friends, locals are content with their coconut trunk stating "we don't need a proper bridge to get across to the other side".

True to say that practice makes perfect as Solomon Times gave in to walking the trunk, which did not go quite as easy as watching locals making their way easily back and forth.