You won't forget a traditional Solomon Islands welcome, writes Richard Moore.
Approaching the village of Saeragi it was hard to focus on anything other than the picturesque shoreline of magnificent trees and impressive native buildings dotted along it.
Unless, of course, it was the extraordinary colour of the water - a rich green-blue that called for you to dive in and cool yourself on a hot, humid Solomon Islands day.
Saeragi is on the northern tip of Gizo Island in the Solomons' Western Province.
We had gone by a local boat around coasts of palm trees and jungle, steering in between small, verdant islands on our journey from Gizo.
The sheltered waters were gentle under a blue sky speckled with fluffy clouds.
Rounding the final corner we waved back to the friendly villagers who were cooling off in the calm waters and the host of kids spilling on to the golden sands.
We steered in towards shore and my focus was entirely on framing shots within my viewfinder.
Someone said a conch sounded, I hadn't noticed, but the cries of my female colleagues alerted me to something out of the ordinary and so I stood and started shooting - images that is.
We were being rushed by black-painted islanders armed with spears, axes and carrying small shields. One held a large conch shell like a shield.
They were yelling, presumably a challenge, and charging our boat.
It was surprising and exciting and had it been a real attack we would have been very quickly at a disadvantage and, in times long gone, possibly featured on the menu.
While in the past they were headhunters, to call today's villagers of Saeragi friendly is to do them a disservice - they are delightfully welcoming.
Once ashore we were given crowns of fragrant flowers and sweet-smelling floral necklaces before being treated to the refreshing flavour of the water from freshly opened young coconut.
The leader of the young warriors greeted us and explained what would happen during our visit to his village.
Though fearsome with axe in hand, his presentation was well done and we were honoured to be welcomed into Saeragi.
We had the various woven - and very attractive - baskets explained to us and we all commented on how their swirling construction differed so elegantly from the usual interlocked weaving from other parts of the world.
Suddenly there was another commotion as some of the local children reacted with excitement as one of our group showed them images of themselves on an iPad.
And it has to be said these kids are cute.
Big-eyed, dark-skinned, white-toothed, cheeky and delightful little beings.
Then it was back to official proceedings.
First up we were shown how the villagers started fire rubbing sticks and then using coconut husk to accept the heat and start the flame.
Hard, skilled work that doesn't come easy to First World hands.
It's even less easy in front of laughing little ones who clearly expect visitors to be as good as villagers in the fire-starting business.
Next came a demonstration of how to de-husk a coconut with a sharpened stake.
Easy when you have done it many times, not so much for newbies.
Mind you, if you end up like Tom Hanks in Cast Away it could be a lifesaver.
I'm a bit of a dab hand at opening coconuts with the back of a blade having learned it in the Cook Islands, but my skills were never called on at Saeragi.
My ability to eat, however, was - after an interesting lesson in how Solomon Islanders cook via a heated rock oven covered in leaves.
This was followed with some traditional dancing. We were treated to three dances - a welcome, party dance, a best mates' knees-up and a tribal effort which warriors would do before setting off on a head-hunting raid.
That was fascinating and little bit scary. Possibly more worrying than I will admit to, with intimidating noises and cadence as well as a snake-like choreography.
After our tasty lunch we took five minutes - well, five island minutes - to cool off at a pier in front of what we took to be an open-air school.
The kids there were delighted the foreigners were ready to swim with them and we all really enjoyed the chance to be part of their environment.
It has to be said that they were driven to peals of laughter by the big white guy landing two spectacular bombs that sent water splashing the height of the trees. Well, not really, but they were impressive!
After 30 minutes in the water with the kids it was time to return to Gizo and we did so reluctantly after what was a really enjoyable time with the villagers of Saeragi.
Getting there: Solomon Airlines flies daily to the country's capital, Honiara, from Brisbane, Australia. Gizo is an hour's flight from Honiara.
Further information: See visitsolomons.com.
The writer travelled courtesy of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Gizo Hotel and Solomons Airlines.