Vanuatu – Santo “I streed nomo”

3/4 Flight to Luganville where Hollingworth was awaiting me at the airport. Roads again. We saw the market, did some sightseeing. Had an interesting talk about culture and progress. And if progress is indeed progress. (Of course this talk was greatly influenced by my experiences on Ambrym. And in between I was preparing all my papers for my Russian visa application. It seemed to maybe going to work out after all, if only i spend enough money :). But I would have to fly to the Russian embassy in Sydney so yet another flight… Near 6pm we went to pick up another. Cs’er, Beata from Czech Republic/Poland border, at the airport. Hollingworth picked up some friends and family and we had kava together. The kava was much smaller then the one in Ambrym, but the atmosphere was nice.

4/4 My first wreck dive. 48 minutes me and my buddy inspected the “President SS Coolidge”, a warship that sank in WWII, close to the coast. It was a long time ago, and going down was very slow being carefull with my ears. I saw the cargo spaces, a barber chair, the anchor, canon, bullets, rusted jeeps, tires, we went over and under and through narrow holes, and when we switched off our flashlight in a dark room, we kissed (nah, that’s a joke), no it was so I could see the twinkling light of (I think) the plankton. Other interesting animals were a swimming water snake, electrical clams (!), some beautiful blue fish I never saw before, normal clams, an old bottle of perfume. And I also lost something there: my orientation. I had no idea where I was anymore. After, one of my ears was making an echo in my head for several hours… Not nice.
In the evening Beate treated us to a little house concert.
Orchestra international duvete, have to look that up.

5/4 Beate and me rented a car and together with Hollingworth and his wife Chrissie we drove up the east coast to Jackie’s blue hole, swam and enjoyed. Then we drove to Port Olry. The beautiful beach there is how I imagine the Philipines must be like. From there we walked across to an island, snorkeled, and then walked through the village (immediately got an invitation to drink kava in the evening). Meanwhile, the fishing nets were set and they said we could rest assured that the nets would contain some fish in an hour. Paradise? We walked to one of the nakamals and had (3!) kavas. And after that we had a freshly caught fish for dinner. “I streed nomo”. “I’m alright, all is good”. Though the drive home was tiresome.

6/4 Snorkeling at Million Dollar point! I took some pictures of the WWII leftovers, but the weather was windy, so there weren’t many fish.
Beata and me spent the afternoon talking over coffee and cake. I really enjoyed our conversations. Back at the house it was again time to say goodbye. I decided to take the taxi to the airport because I thought I was running out of time, but I should have known, it was Vanuatu time, so no worries, one hour before departure is really just 15 minutes here. How I love this country! Unfortunately at the airport they couldn’t exchange my Vanuatu Vatu, so I still have them… And then I slept in Brisbane airport. Nice comfortable couches in a clean and modern airport. The contrast with Vanuatu and especially Ambrym makes me get lost in thoughts again…

 

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