Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ifira Island

One of our last adventures in Vanuatu was visiting the little island of Ifira. Ifira is an island located in Port Vila's large bay. We had heard it was a pretty walk and that it was a good place for local handicrafts. On arrival we were greeted by several small tour guides and lead all over there island home. Everyone was so welcoming and we made many new friends both very young and old. I can't wait to come back someday.

Thats a pet pig on the beach
Mark and Elaine
I had to ask them to stop picking all the flowers for me
They loved posing for pics and then seeing them on the camera

Helping us into the dinghy Saying goodbye

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Port Vila

Exploring by dinghy

Sat. flower market

The Mele Cascades, gorgeous and refreshing

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pidgin, pikininis and patisseries

Port Vila, Vanuatu's main city has an interesting personality. Vanuatu has been independent since the 19080s but before independence, the English and French both reigned in this far away part of the world. The country is rustic, but the city is cosmopolitan. Filled with duty free shops and patisseries it seems incongruous with the rest of Vanuatu with their Kastom villages, grass skirts and penis sheaths. The language spoken here is Bislama a combination of French, English and Pidgin. "Wanem nem blong yu?," means what is your name, babies are called pikininis. Everywhere I go I am not sure what language to try and speak. Some schools are French and some schools are English but Bislama is everywhere. Read the sign aloud for best results.

Since we arrived we have been eating our way through the city. Vanuatu has some of the best beef in the world. During the days of French and English rule, they competed for the best meat by bringing their best cows to Vanuatu. The result was cows with a royal bloodline and the best beef for thousands of miles.
Sean and Mark enjoy all the goodies at our favorite haunt, Peche Mignon
We try out some Vanuatuan beef at The Flaming Bull, delicious
We met these little cuties while Sean shopped for gifts

In Vila, you can dinghy anywhere, even to the Tapas bar

Monday, September 07, 2009

Mt. Yasur

Our second full day at Tanna Island, and it was time to see Mt. Yasur one of the most accessible, active volcanoes in the world. So accessible in fact that four wheel drive vehicles get within 150 meters of the craters rim. After a walk through Port Resolution village and then a 45 min. truck ride we arrived in the car park of the volcano. The huge sand dunes of ash looked like they belong on the moon and instantly you can hear rumble of Yasur's fiery belly. We arrived around 4:30 pm so we were able to see the volcano as it gradually got darker. When we first arrived we peeked over the edge and were pushed back by the extremely loud percussive noise. It was amazing. As it got darker we crawled up higher so we could see straight down into the volcano. Huge red-hot boulders and ash shot up into the air as we took photo after photo while trying to always look up for renegade rocks that could vaporize a person in an instant. Sounds cool huh? It was. Check out the video I took at the bottom.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


After a four day long boisterous sail from Fiji, we made landfall at Port Resolution on the island of Tanna. One of Vanuatu's 83 islands, Tanna is home to the famous and active Mount Yasur volcano. But before the volcano, we had to get checked in to the country. Our first adventure was a two hour pick-up truck ride to the village of Lenekal to visit customs, quarantine and immigration. After we were "official" we enjoyed the local market and even got to see a local wedding on the way back to Port Resolution. So far we are really enjoying Vanuatu. It is an exotic place for us and the people are lovely. The pictures below of our first few days speak fore themselves. Next entry, The Volcano!! Waiting for the bank to open and enjoying Mark's breakfast sandwiches
Tanna baskets Woman in Mother Hubbard dress Taro root and banana leaf baskets
Ni-Vanuatu wedding