We had a wonderful holiday. Vanuatu is gorgeous and the people are gorgeous. And even though we love Rarotonga so much, I think we will go back to Vanuatu ( or more specifically, Efate) at some stage.
Anyway, here's a whole load of holiday photos!
This is where we were staying, it was lovely. The staff were the most amazing people but if we went back we maybe wouldn't stay there again. Not that they did a single thing wrong, it was perfect, but it was quite far out of town along a very, very rutted track. We like exploring when we go somewhere, and this was just a bit too in the back of beyond. If you were looking for a holiday where you stayed in the resort, chilled, ate amazingly well and could totally relax, then this is the place for you. I honestly don't think you could get anywhere better.
They also had all sorts of things laid on so that you really didn't have to go anywhere if you didn't want to.
But, as I said, we love to explore! So we hired a car and went all over the island! This is a place called Eton Beach, with the most lovely blue water. It's quite strange, though as a freshwater stream comes into the salt water bay so the water all mixes in a decidedly odd way! Very cool.
As we drove round the island of Efate, we realised that even though it only takes about 3 hours to go right the way around, the scenery is very different on different coasts. Like, on the South East corner it was all palm trees, as far as the eye could see.
We discovered an amazing cafe along the coast. It's owned by an Australian guy who loves fishing, so every morning he goes out for a fish, then brings his catch home and serves up whatever he's caught. It was probably our favourite place to eat.
and as an added bonus you could snorkel right off their deck.
Lloyd had his favourite meal of the trip here. A whole grilled Poulet ( we would call it snapper!) This was after he'd eaten it all!! Every time we went I had the tuna sashimi. Best I've ever had. The tuna would have been about 2 hours out of the water. Amazing!
Our other favourite place was Hideaway Island. We got a wee boat over most days. We just chilled on the beach and snorkelled for hours! This was perhaps the best snorkelling I have ever done. We saw more fish than we've ever seen and so many different kinds. I lost count of the amount of hours we spent in the water.
The only thing, when the sun came out it was brutal! and it came out a lot! We think we're used to strong sun in New Zealand, but here, it honestly felt like it was scorching your skin off!! I spent a lot of the time in the shade!! Reading my trusty kindle.
Every day, when we went snorkelling there was this huge ball of fish that hung around at the edge of a drop off. I have no idea how deep the drop off went, but it was blue as far as the eye could see! I was hanging over it to take these photos of Lloyd and much as I adore the water, I was constantly thinking "what's down there!!"
Anyway, we were determined to get a pic of this! When we duck dived down into the ball of fish they would all part! Then we'd regroup them - by acting like sheep dogs to get them back into the ball, then we'd duck dive into them again! It was great fun!
Here's Lloyd heading down towards the 'ball'
and they all part for him!
Then he has to come up to breathe!!
There was also an underwater post box here. You could buy waterproof post cards, then dive down to post them. ( and yes, our friends did get them!)
Another favourite place was the market. This was just a food market, mostly fruit and veg.
It was open 24 hours a day except Sunday. And it was huge.
Most of the locals eat here, but I'm really fussy! and bones in food freak me out! Lloyd is the total opposite of me and was desperate to eat here. He had 'stew' and got this totally gigantic plate of meat in gravy, vegetables, fresh salad and cassava. Just as well it was huge cos I took one teeny taste and he had to share it with me. It was LOVELY! ( and no bones!)
In Vanautu three languages are commonly spoken, English, French and Pidgin. We loved pidgin!
There's a lot of French influence, because for a long time the French and the British jointly 'ruled' it. In the 1980's it became independent. But a lot of french things remain - like yummy croissants!
Now, as long term readers, or anyone that knows me in the real world knows, I don't drink. Well, I very very seldom drink. I don't have a problem with it at all, I just don't really like the taste of alcohol. But I do like the odd cocktail. On our second to last night Lloyd and I had a cocktail each. It was lovely, but I only had about 3 sips and felt a smidge... what's the word? Plastered! Yep, I'm a very cheap date.
So, that's all from Vanuatu. We had a completely brilliant holiday!
I came home to a greenhouse full of triffids!!! But more on that later.
We've battened down the hatches today, as a huge sub-tropical low is pretty much on top of us right now, so it's peeing down. High winds and gales are expected later. Oh joy!