Wow, you’ve made it and I promise this will be the last post!!
After spending 2 nights in Griffith and celebrating my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary we heading off to Sydney for a couple of days of relaxation before we jetted off overseas. We had a pretty eventful trip, with a freak hail storm outside of Yass sending cars spinning around us. It was terrifying, with me just begging Rex to get us off the road, but we managed to get through the crash unscathed. Once in Sydney, we visited Taronga Park Zoo, which included a trip on the sky safari (impressive for me as I’m terrified of heights. We did agree however that Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo was much better as its an open range zoo and the animals have a lot more room to move around in.
On Wednesday morning we got up very early (4am) to get ready to catch our flight. Mum’s partner Rod was so kind to drop us off at the International Airport, where we thought we flew out of. But no, it was actually the domestic terminal and after finding a lovely lady who worked for Toll and confirmed this for us, we raced to grab a taxi to the domestic terminal. Flying over was uneventful and by the middle of the afternoon we arrived in Port Vila, whose airport was like nothing we had ever seen. It wasn’t that much bigger than the Dubbo airport, however it was the international airport!! We got a transfer to the resort, where on the way, the tour guide explained some of the differences we might notice, particularly the lack of road rules, yes lack! There were no speed limits, you could drink and drive and over the week we decided that stop and give way were optional. Everywhere you would see people riding in the back of utes and general road craziness. What did strike as though was the friendliness off all the people we meet, and the courtesy shown. Everywhere you looked people were smiling and having fun.
The resort was beautiful and we were lucky enough to have a fare overlooking the harbour and right on the water’s edge. At high tide we could feed the fish from the balcony, and even saw a sea snake swim past. We spent many happy hours getting drunk and meeting other couples who had also gotten married on the weekend. It was overcast during most of the trip only clearing up as we left, but we still managed to check out the swim up bar. At one of the happy hours Rex won a raffle which gave us a discount on a jet boat tour, so the next day, that’s exactly what we did. It was a great way to check out the harbour and some of the other coves. While we were there, we also when on a dune buggy tour which was great fun but very dirty and a reef explorer which was a great way to see what was below the water. We passed on snorkelling as it was just too cold to do a lot a swimming. Finally we visited the Mele Cascades, which is a definite to go and visit. We just caught a local bus, and it worked out almost half the price of the tour and we could stay as long as we liked.
Our big adventure was on the Thursday, so our first full day there. We had decided to go into Vila and get our bearings. We noticed all the locals walking up some of the hills, but didn’t think anything off it until an Aussie walked past and asked if we had heard about the Tsunami warning. We decided to head back to the island and find out what was happening. Waiting for the ferry, it took forever (usually only took 10 minutes) before we were told about the Tsunami and that the ferry wasn’t coming. At that we decided to do as the locals were and followed them up the side of the hill. We met up with another couple from Iririki and proceeded to head up, stopping only for water and Shapes. We followed until we found where all the locals were waiting and decided it must be okay. It was nerve-racking the waiting, as we could see the ocean from where we were sitting. Some of the locals had a radio which they could hear updates, the only problem being that it was all in French so all we could understand was that is was highly important we stay up high. Eventually the warning was lifted and a local minister came and told us it was declared safe.