Sunday, March 22, 2009

Around the Isle and Back Again

On Thursday, T and I did an almost-all-day around the island tour (9am to 5pm). It was absolutely wonderful. Our tour guide was *this post interrupted to let you know I've just squashed a spider the size of my fucking HAND, "no poisonous spiders in Vanuatu" is the best thing I've read in a while, seriously* entertaining and knowledgeable. We got to see several beaches, our tour guide pointed out many villages, farming areas, etc. All of which, due to the dreary rainy non-photogenic nature of the day, I didn't get much photographic evidence of. Nevertheless, the tour was more useful than I had anticipated.

Efate, the island we're on, contains several paved roads in the main area (Port Vila and immediate surroundings); after that, the road is unpaved. The government is working on a sealed road to circle the island, but is nowhere near completion yet. Our driver did a masterful job of remembering that his passengers were pretty much used to flat, even, not-water-covered roads.

We got out at a beach mid-morning where we swam in crazy variable-temperature water, stared at a few fish, and drank/ate coconuts. We stopped to look and play at a banyan tree:

At lunch, we had local food at a "restaurant" that was owned by a man from an island you could see from the beach, and ate some great local food:

T made a friend (I even held a hermit crab...not kidding). There is some insane number of hermit crabs on this island, just look at a piece of beach and it will start moving:

And we saw the "American swimming pool," so named because the Americans made it in other endeavors not intended for recreation:

To top the day off, we visited Mele Falls and Cascades, which has to be the most photogenic river/stream ever:

A little past that point, we had to cross the river multiple times to get to the top, and that combined with the waterfall spray from the larger falls was too dangerous for the camera. It was awesome, though.

We decided to go that evening to the hospital, and spent about 5 hours there attending to women in various stages of labor, none of whom delivered by the time we left just before midnight.

I still didn't work on my business plan. Tomorrow is another day (as is the next day...and the day after that...)

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