On the road in…Chuuk!

This trip was pretty much an unmitigated disaster, and it had little to do with the food.

Our flight to Chuuk got diverted, and a series of unfortunate events followed, meaning I was stuck in Pohnpei for several days before I could even get to Chuuk. This cut a 7 day trip to effectively 3 and a half days. Not impressed. United can pretty much stick it where the sun don’t shine. The travel insurance claim is in to try and get some money back, so we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, as already posted, none of the flights to and from Chuuk had a VGML on offer – I was simply given the same snack box as everyone else. I did my best to bring my own food on board to eat, and that was that.

In Chuuk, one has to realise that it’s very much third world. Out of all of the island states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, it is widely accepted that Chuuk is the least developed. Additionally, Chuuk was hit by typhoon Maysak at the end of March, and that decimated the local food crops.

So at the resort, fresh fruit and veg was in short supply. A problem when you’re vegan. At breakfast, I ordered the fruit plate, and all that came was a couple of very small slices of watermelon. They literally had no other fruit. And there was nothing else on the breakfast menu that I could eat.

Lunch and dinner effectively had the same menu. There were, believe it or not, a couple of vegan options on the menu. However, as previously noted, the island had no fresh fruit or veg due to the typhoon…As such, I was basically limited to one dish: soba noodles with stir fried vegetables. Which was fine – until they ran out of vegetables too. I kid you not.

IMG_5806The vegan option at the resort in Chuuk…Soba noodles and vegetables.

Ultimately I resorted to potato fries and rice for lunch and dinner. Ever tried diving while your stomach is full of heavy starchy carbs? Not a pleasant experience.

For the record, most other guests were eating fish and rice, or fish and chips for every meal.

Thankfully I only had to deal with the food for a few days due to the flight issues with United which meant the trip was cut short. I had other issues with the resort messing me around with my bill and whatnot as well.

This is obviously by no means my first time travelling to a developing country, but it’s probably been one of the more frustrating experiences I’ve had, which is saying a lot.

I’m in two minds about whether to return. On the one hand, I’d like to actually go and see some of the wrecks I’d planned to dive in the first place but didn’t have time to due to the flight disaster (I dived a few, but nowhere near what had been planned). On the other hand, I really don’t want to have to deal with United again, nor do I want to have to put up with the lack of food options (particularly on an active dive trip), or the issues that I had with the resort.

What should have been a once in a lifetime experience to dive the wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon was pretty much one disappointment after another.


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