|the story of the yam-in sand|
It is hard not to be intrigued by a country where men wrap their penises in a ribbon. Seriously—if I knew nothing else about Vanuatu—that alone might have been enough to get me here.
But I did know a bit more—I knew that because of the hundreds of languages spoken across the scattering of islands that the common language here is Bislama—a form of Pidgin that is way more fun to learn than French. And I knew there were volcanoes and waterfalls and amazing diving. And I knew about the dugongs and the megapodes—birds that lay their eggs in hot volcanic sand and then leave the eggs and chicks to fend for themselves.
But even knowing all of this I still had no idea what to expect. I had no idea that Port Villa is easily the prettiest, and most surprisingly, most modern feeling city in the South Pacific. I had no idea that the people, who seem really shy and reserved after Fiji, would be so sweet. I had no idea I would once again fall head over heals for a country (they grow coffee here!!)—and we’ve barely started.
Port Vila is an easy city to hang out in—there’s lots to do and learn (we spent the morning at the excellent cultural centre), great shopping (yesterday we spent the day exploring the two markets (omg—raspberries!!), the grocery stores and the duty free shops), and a gorgeous landscape.
The highlight of our stay here was our visit to Mele Cascades—pretty much the loveliest waterfalls I’ve ever seen. You start your visit by hiking through gardens—then the trail winds up through the cascades themselves. At the top you are rewarded by dozens of swimming holes—each linked to the next by a short series of falls.
|Maia making her way into a cave behind the falls|
Maia called it the best water park ever.
Evan and I found the massage falls—which, when you sit under them provide a thundering shoulder rub.
Our plan is to head out tomorrow for the outer islands. Thanks to a lovely connection we made with a local couple (who served us a truly memorable dinner) we have introductions to several villages which we’ll stop in at as we make our way up to Santos.
|dinner with Brenda and Bill|
If the rest of Vanuatu even comes close to our first few days—it’ll be amazing.
I'll let you know what the wrappers are like...