Over a decade ago, driving out along the Magi Highway was a challenging experience. In the wet season, it was even more challenging as the torrential rain flooded the highway making it difficult to reach villages like Gaire, Gabagaba and many others in the Hiri District. But that has all changed as we found out over the weekend as we headed along the Highway now known as Sir Reuben Taureka Highway.
Sealed roads and street lights have taken over the once dusty road and a drive on the highway is just like any other drive around the city except for the views which is something to behold.
We knew that much of the Central Province is evergreen but for a ride that’s more comfortable than before, absorbing the greenery Central Province is truly breath-taking.
Much of the roadside is bush. Behind the bush in the background as you drive on, the landscape ahead is like a fine piece of artwork as backdrop.
To make the ride even more pleasant, there are two road-side markets filled with kulau and other fresh fruits and vegetables at more affordable prices. After all, most of the sellers live in close proximity to the market itself thus avoiding the hassles of commuting to town to sell their wares.
Further onwards towards Gaire village is a small creek that runs below a bridge located a 100 or so meters from the main village entrance. Travelling from the city, it’s a must to stop beside the road and stroll down to the creek. There, you will see kids swimming and having a lot of fun without little care as to whose watching. Their mothers have walked a few 100 meters to do the laundry on the banks of the river. It almost takes you back to the days pre-independence where little thought is given to what’s happening in the city.
The stream of water flowing down is icy cold but that doesn’t prevent the group of kids nearby splashing away enjoying nature’s offering. The river might be called Vailala River but we’re not entirely sure of that.
It took us an hour drive to and another hour drive back. It’s hard to explain it all in this piece so it’s better to explore it yourself. Meanwhile, we’ll leave these pics just to give you a glimpse of what awaits you.