After a relaxing breakfast at the Ofis airbnb/restaurant overlooking a serene ocean front view of the turquoise blue sea, I made my way via bus down the main street to the Solomon Islands National Museum, a small complex of five buildings. I read every board then spoke with the souvenir shop staff about life in SI and some of the recent social unrest but was assured things are now calm. I stopped by the tourist center and arranged to rendezvous with another traveler to share a car once it became available later that day, then grabbed food at Central Market and crossed the river to a commercial area that turned out to be a Chinatown where I searched for a backpacker hotel advertised on a flyer and spoke to a British traveler about his extensive travels and how he managed to negotiate his lodging, but he still wanted to pay less. We decided to explore sharing costs and I agreed to return another day to finalize plans. As I returned to the car rendezvous point, I realized the other traveler would not show up, but I found some very affordable, delicious and thoroughly cooked beef and rice meals at Solomon Motors.
It’s possible to negotiate pricing with hotel staff because an empty bed makes no revenue, whereas even if one bed in a standard two bed room is filled, they make money. If a place looks empty, ask to pay for just one bed.