Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Port Resolution, Tanna

We had a long and horrendous voyage from Port Vila (Efate Island, Vanuatu) to Lenakel (Tanna Island, Vanuatu) on a cargo freighter. But upon our arrival on September 3rd, we were quite hungry so we went in search of a place to eat. We came upon a thatched hut they call a restaurant owned by the most friendly and gregarious Mary who treated us as though she had known us all her life. This is a tiny place with a couple of tables and benches.

Merry Mary and Jordan outside of her restaurant

She quickly served us up 2 large plates of delicious fish, rice, and veggies that we gobbled down. Mary chatted with us, giving us some local info, and asked us all about ourselves. She asked if we had come by plane and we said No, on the cargo freighter Maiko. The Maiko??" she said, The Maiko?! She found it hard to believe that we had actually arrived via the Maiko.

(And throughout our stay at Tanna, anytime someone discovered we had come on Maiko, we were looked at in disbelief. The Maiko?! they would say as though maybe we meant to say By airplane. The upside: when we negotiated a price, we weren't viewed as a typical tourist.)

As we also felt our passage was a bit too adventurous even for us, we decided to buy plane tickets for our return. With plane tickets in hand, we found a pickup truck for a ride to Port Resolution on the other (southeastern) coast of Tanna. The distance wasn't that far (41 km) but the road is in extremely poor shape. Our driver, Joseph, loaded with supplies and people, averaged 20 to 30 km per hour and the trip took about 1.5 hours. He only charged us 2000 Vatu, not the traditional 5000 Vatu (subtract 2 zeros for approximate Canadian price).

Port Resolution (not really a port but a small bay protected from the southeasterlies) was named by Captain Cook - after his ship Resolution - when he anchored there in 1774.

We stayed in a small bungalow/cabin at the Port Resolution Yacht Club, somewhat of a misnomer. This may sound like a very fancy place to stay but it was very pleasantly basic. The setting was beautiful, up on a bluff overlooking the few intrepid sailboats in the bay with its beach back-dropped with verdant jungle.

Cabins that overlooked the point

Our cabin was similar to the traditional inhabitant's structures with thatched roof and thin walls of woven bamboo, however for the tourist, they made the floors of concrete. Although it wasn't the season for them, the 1 double bed and 2 single beds were all covered with mosquito nets. There was a sink with cold running water on the porch. That's it!

Hey, luxury...running water

The washroom was a short walk away along tidy lawns spotted with palms and other tropical trees. There was a clean toilet and solar shower. A tap was outside with a bar of soap sitting on the concrete next to it for washing. They kept everything nice and neat but close to natural.

We were the only guests staying there. We were served our meals in an open air room with its purring resident kitty. There was a long table and chairs and a couple of couches and comfy chairs for lounging placed along the wall. We opened the guest book and spotted a few recent yachts that we know well. The staff provided us with anything we asked for and were very welcoming.

During our dinner, it poured rain and we were feeling lucky that we had decided to wait for the next day before visiting the Island's active volcano.

As we had not slept at all the previous night (sitting on the freighter for 22 hours), we were quite exhausted and went to bed early. Good thing as lights are out at 21:00 when they turn off their generator and water!


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys..
wonderful descriptive account, we recently sold our condo and are on the Free to Roam at Fisherman's Wharf. Hope this is the start of some serious cruising.
Best Wishes for Christmas
Pete & Wendy

Anonymous said...

& Where R U now? Lots of photos if possible. EJM