Day 5- Guam to Pohnpei, Micronesia

Up to catch a 6 am taxi to the Guam airport, as we are off to Pohnpei, Micronesia today.  The plan is to arrive and immediately jump on a boat to Nan Madol.  This is going to be one of the highlights of our trip. 

The flight was amazing with coral reefs (above) and islands in the making all along our route.  United runs a puddle jumper in the South Pacific, so we had a quick stop in Chuuk then on to Pohnpei.  

Mark with the Mangrove Bay Hotel picked us up at the airport and took us to check in. He had the boat ready for our first trip into Nan Madol.  Only the main island of Pohnpei is permanently inhabited, but many of the small islands within the lagoon, have structures for fisherman and families to enjoy. 

Nan Madol is an ancient archaeological  site of approximately 160 Acres, consisting of 96 man made islands, connected with canals.  This civilization is referred to as the Saudeleur Dynasty and it extisted until about 1628 AD. Not much is known about the people or civilization that flouished here.  The ruins consist of basalt and coral, it is still a mystery as to how these extremely heavy stones were transported to the current site.

By arriving at high tide, we were able to access the Royal Burial islet by boat.  16 remains were found at this site and they are very different anatomically from modern man, with very long leg bones and arms, indicating individuals 7 feet tall.  According to Alison, ancient people of this extreme height are found throughout the world.  Pete and I observed a skeleton in Mexico that was similar, with a very short rib cage, and extremely long limbs. 

This is the sunken burial chamber, set in a courtyard surrounded by high basalt walls with coral corner stones.

Our fearless guide and boat captain was Stamp.  Because of the high tide we had to wade around part of the site. Stamp made sure we made it without mishap.  

Tomorrow we drive to the site and walk in to see additional structures. Afterward we will be going to an eco reserve to snorkle.


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