Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Goodbye Vanuatu

Our stay in Vanuatu was not as long as we would have liked. We were late in arriving as we spent so long in New Zealand completing necessary boat jobs before sailing to Fiji, where we also did not have long enough to stay to see enough of the many fabulous islands. We would like to return to both these cruising areas sometime in the future.

As we were getting ready to depart Vanuatu, we summed up some interesting aspects of this very unique chain of islands.

For better or worse, the very real history of cannibalism provides a distinction unlike all others, and for us, conjured up images of bone-in-nose savages doing chanting dances around wide-eyed missionaries in the pot of which they were the main ingredient. As accurate as that statement is, the predominant and prevalent cannibalistic activity was perpetrated on their neighbouring villagers. This continued right up into recent history - the last known act of cannibalism here was in 1969.

In spite of this distinction, these unabashed denizens demonstrate the most insouciant and hospitable friendliness that made us feel so welcomed. They are very proud of their culture which has little changed in a contemporaneous world that surrounds them.

We had to admit though that the highlight was presented by nature. In particular, the Mount Yasur volcano on Tanna. Nowhere else will we be able to get so up close and personal to earth's hellish power.

And now, onwards to Indonesia...

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