Vanuatu – Efate

23/3 Early in the morning people came to the viewpoint where I was sleeping to see the planes taking off. “Bye daddy!”, the children were yelling. Over 20 times. I decided to get up and get ready to take my flight to Port Vila, Vanuatu. Without my beloved wind stopper 😦 It must have jumped off my supermarket chariot yesterday … Oh well… Less is more they say… On the plane I decided to pay the extra 10 dollars and watch the second Hobbit movie “The desolation of the Smaug” while flying. I couldn’t leave New Zealand without having seen it, right? Arriving in the airport of Port Vila, the songs of some local ni-Vans were welcoming us. The customs checked my tickets very thoroughly before I was allowed to move on. And coming out of the airport, Clement, my couchsurfing host, was already waiting for me with a flower necklace as a welcome. And the sun was present. I was already charmed. We dropped my bag at his place and together with two of his French friends (Vanuatu used to be a colony of British and French together) we drove all around the island on two quats and one motorbike. On the way we drank a coconut from a local stall and the local chief allowed his friendly family to show us their property. A modest cement brick made house (which reminded me of Cuba) and a vegetable garden with capsicum, tomatoes, fruits, coconut trees, and… A river running in the end of their backyard, where one of the children happily jumped in the water from an overhanging tree. What a great experience, from the first day sharing sun, smiles, talks and coconuts with some locals… And we hadn’t even reached our final destination yet. That was a beach in the north, Tahiti style, where I swam, cautiously because I didn’t want to hit a coral after having read stories about infections. But, no matter how careful and slow moving I was, touching the coral was exactly what happened. A little cut in my little toe… I would have to take care of that at home. We completed our island tour with a kava, the local drink. A “drug” is a big word, but it contains a certain amount (you choose how much “shells” you take) of a local root that makes you relax…
24/3 To the market in the morning, eating local food like Laplap, banana made in milk, chips with taro, chips with kumara,… And I the same German girls I saw on the plane&bus yesterday were walking around as well. So we talked and decided to do some things together. I checked internet in “nambawan” coffeeshop, sent another mail to try to get my Russian visa, and booked two flights with Air Vanuatu, to visit the island Ambrym, where you can do a walk through the jungle to an active volcano with a lava lake inside… Chances are big that it will be rainy, foggy, smoky, ashy, or even cyclony but… I can at least try… So 27/3 I’m flying to Ambrym and 2/4 I’m flying to Santo, Luganville, where I’m gonna stay with a ni-Van CS host. After the tickets me and the German girls Suzan and Nele searched and found a place to have a quick swim in the sea. We were gonna meet the next day and rent a car together. I ended the day meeting Clement and his French friends at another vanua kava bar. No, the day want finished yet, we watched a movie at home, “Jack Reacher”, which Clement, like me, projected at the wall. Feels like home far away from home.
25/3 I met Suzan and Nele at the market. Suprisingly it was a sunny day again. We had our breakfast there and rented a car. We snorkeled close to the famous restaurant where we had fresh fish after. Snorkeled again a bit further, at a rocky coast, where I could swim through a tunnel. Pretty cool, a bit scary even. And we checked he place where we wanted to go the next day, the Blue Lagoon. We had kava all together and called it a day.
26/3 Suzan, Nele, Clement and me had breakfast with real “pain au chocolats”, and then the girls and me drove to “Blue lagoon”, where I swam, snorkeled, rope swinged, climbed on trees and jumped and dived off them. After that, the touristic mele cascades and the beautiful, best-snorkeling-ever-island “Hideaway”. This tiresome day ended with beer and pizza and then we said goodbye. I was flying to Ambrym the next morning.

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