Over the past couple of months I have suffered terrible writers block. I am here to say it is OVER for good I hope. I find that I need to get right out of my comfort zone to be inspired and travel is the best way to do that. I have recently returned from Heaven, aka Vanuatu. A place so devistatingly beautiful and unique that its hard to believe I had to come home. During my 15 day stay I encountered wonderous new customs, learnt my worth in pigs and met some of the most interesting people I feel I could meet. From the charming Nick at La Tentation, to the ever complaining 'Yaya', owner of the largest if only IT shop in Vila. Here is my story.
It all began in November, when an article in Bazaar sparked an old flame of intrigue I had for the magical islands. I looked up costings and places to stay and before I knew it I was in Flight Centre buying a ticket! The date grew closer and closer and I realised that, maybe I should take someone on my journey. It would be more fun after all to say to them "remember when we..?" Then the race was on! I pitted my two best girlfriends and my partner - Himself - against each other to see who could come up with the money for airfares first. Himself, came first, and even managed to chip in a bit on the resorts. Which was great cause it meant many foot rubs for me and other romantic things, such as kyak trips and dinners on the beach at sunset. The days grew nearer and nearer, and we got our shots and medicine etc etc, then before I knew it, it was January and we were jetting off to the unknown.
Touch down and as we exit the plane we were hit by the thick humid air, regretting my choice in wearing jeans I could think of nothing better than getting to the resort and changing into my sarong. We walked down the stairs and onto the tarmat, feeling the moisture seep through our clothing. But it didn't matter. We were here. The airport was surrounded by lush rainforest and fringed with coconut palm trees, the airport itself was a pale blue shed looking thing with fans as its only form of cooling system. We made our way through customs and loaded ourselves into the transfer bus, the driver smiled and handed us cool bottles of water and refresher wipes and took our luggage for us. We sat in the bus waiting for other passengers in awe of the scenery around us. The bus was airconditioned so it gave us plenty of room to think and take in what we were seeing. After a while a small girl who was the drivers sister got on the bus and as we took off she explained to us the triving laws, some local customs, and some other much needed information about the very foreign place we had landed in. So begun the drop-offs. We were the last stop and couldn't wait to see what was waiting for us. "Last stop - Breaka's!"
We climbed off the bus and saw a path going through a tropical garden filled with hibiscas and coconut palms. As we went to get out luggage, we were stopped as a group of men took it apon themselves to transport our luggage to the lobby. As we got there and signed in, we were greeted with lei's made of woven flax and fruit punch mocktails. Heaven! "Room 3" said the conceirge as he handed us the key and an envalope with my name on it. Once again, before we could get within a foot of our luggage, it had already been whisked off to our room by a lively young man names Michel. Our little hut was close to the bar and beautiful. The roof was made up of woven banana leaves and the walls of stone and coral. Inside was a treat of cool tiled floors, a queen bed, a day bed, and all the pillows we could ask for. Michel left us with a smile and dissapeared through the sand and palm fringed buildings. I pulled the pillows off the bed and lie there for a moment. Perfect. After a refreshing shower and a quick change of attire, not to mention my beloved afternoon nap, we headed to dinner. We had arrived on the night of the Melanesian feast! Our table was under cover and though a pillar was in the way we enjoyed the music and story-telling of the local village of Pango and enjoyed a buffet of the local cusine. After fruit cocktails and amazing food, we retired to our room, exhausted and collapsed on our bed.
This was mearly day one!
Throughout my trip Himself and myself ventured through rain forests and villages, kyaked down rivers, fed sea turtles and sharks. We met new friends and dined on the beach, on organic farms and ate some of the most amazing food I have eaten. I even got to cook! Himself got many offers for jobs and as our trip neared to an end we had never felf more at home. On our last night, we dined at a new friend of ours -Nick's- Restaurant. La Tentation, the dinner was candle lit with glorious tapas towers, fine wine and great people.
I will always remember my trip to Vanuatu. I hope it will remember me!