Journey Three / Chapter 10

Vanuatu

December 2018

Exploring the remote south pacific island nation of Vanuatu, through the islands of Efate, Malekula and Espiritu Santo. On a quad bike, local ferry and tiny airplane. An unikely grasp of paradise.

We did not plan to visit Vanuatu until about 2 days before we landed in Port Vila. We knew very little of this tiny island nation, but due to unlikely circumstances we happened to land just here, and spend here an amazing month.

First we started off with the island of Efate. First few days I spent on getting my Divers Licence - and where better than this Diver's paradise, a place of hundreds shipwrecks and amazing sea coral gardens. And when done exploring the sea bed around the Efate, we look inland, get a quad bike, and take unforgettable road-trip around the capital island. Passing through many picturesque villages and obscure sights such as random closed and fading museum of World War 2 memorabilia, we hit the jackpot by visiting the locals top spot - the Blue Lagoon.

Time to hit up the next island. To make things interesting we decide to travel on a Big Sista, an old local ferry that makes the inter-island journey once a week. Crammed with hundreds of other passengers on a tiny ship, we head on the overnight journey to the island of Malekula. While one of the largest islands in size, it is very sparsely populated and most of the population stay in very remote tribal communities, largely untouched by modern life. We decide to visit one of these tribes - the Small Namba community near the island of Rano. And we even head up to the Rano island, infamous as a hometown of one of few cannibalistic communities. And we get to experience its cannibalistic past from uncomfortably close range.

After Malekula we head up to the northern island of Espiritu Santo. But to do that we have to take a small local flight from the most unlikely airport - basically a rotting shack standing randomly between the jungle and a palm plantation. When finally getting to Espiritu Santo, we head up toward Lonnoc Beach, only to turn around the next day and go back to Luganville.

This was one of the most extraordinary destinations we ever visited. An unlikely adventure on every corner balanced out by hospitable and friendly local people everywhere we go. Thank you Vanuatu!