Monday, August 19, 2013

Going in circles

Vanuatu is a nation of 83 islands and only gained independence in 1980. We wanted to drive around the island of Efate and so did Rod and Elizabeth on SV Proximity so we all rented a car and headed out for the day. Efate is not very big and could be circled in about 3 hours, with no stops - no roads go to the interior mountainous terrain.

Our first stop was when we spotted a sign claiming The Blue Lagoon. Sounded like an intriguing place. The Lagoon was very blue and very pretty, and Jordan snapped this lady perched on an overhanging branch taking photos.

Photo of a photo

Jeff (SV Proximity crew), Jordan, and I walked away from the Blue Lagoon in search of the ocean that we could hear crashing somewhere. We muddled through the rainforest branches and sharp lava ground and finally found the breaking waves. Mission accomplished! Upon return to the Blue Lagoon, we shared an enjoyable picnic lunch with baguettes, cheese, wine...

Pass the wine

We were trying to find a beach where we could take a dip and stopped at this picturesque one but the surf was too strong. We were also hoping to swim with the large friendly Dugongs, a close cousin to the Manatees, but were informed that they had all left the area in search for their favourite food, seagrass.

What island is that? Where are my charts?

Our final stop was at the Top Rock Site where an informative guide told us all about the area flora and fauna, including large resident coconut crabs. He showed us a wooden pig killing club and we were told that these same clubs were also used for killing humans when cannibalism was still practiced. The last recorded cannibal killing was actually as recent as 1969. But now, no worries, your only chance of being baked is by the tropical sun!

Stay away from me with that!

As we circled Efate Island, we drove past many, many villages where residents lived in thatched huts, grow their food in gardens, and raise pigs if lucky enough to afford them.

We encountered very little traffic and only had 2 or 3 vehicles pass us the entire day. It seemed so weird to be driving on the right-hand side of the road (as we do back in Canada) after driving so long on the opposite side in New Zealand. Our rented vehicle even had a large imprint on the windshield reminding you to stay on the right side of the road as there are so many Aussies and Kiwis that holiday here and they are used to driving on the left-hand side of the road.

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