Our final morning in Santo and journey to Tanna – wow felt like a big day! We finished off a few things in Santo before heading to the airport for our 12:35 ish flight. We checked in our bags then popped them on the scales, the surprise came when we too had to hop on the scales with our hand luggage to be weighed! It was one of those moments where you look at someone, confused, “do you mean our hand luggage,” only to get the response, “no, you and your hand luggage.” When that happens you know it’s a small plane but I have never been weighed for a flight. The hour at the airport felt long, but then it was time to hop on the 17 seater plane for the 1hr 10 min flight to Port Vila, it felt so much longer! Anywho the coast line from the air was amazing, because it was such a small plane we weren’t very high so you could see the colors of the ocean as it changed from deep dark blue to aquamarine along the edge of the islands, you could see the shape of the reefs, absolutely beautiful, our planet really is a wonderful place that we need to care for.
We had an hour in Vila, before we boarded a somewhat larger plane for Tanna, that was a quick flight, 35 minutes! We we met by Nagate and Elenie from the Friendly Bunglows where we will call home for 3 nights. Of course it had to be done, we climbed on the tray of the ute and began the 1.5 hour journey to our digs. None of the road was sealed so it was bumpy and dusty, but all part of the adventure I reckon. Villages were dotted along the way, as were men with big machete’s and after about 20 minutes we stopped at the main town/village of Lekanal for some supplies. “We sell cold beer” was the sign outside so we asked if we could hop out to grab some, so Nagate parked up. We were then asked if we wanted to try Kava, well you can’t really pass up the opportunity to go to a local Kava bar with local people, that would be very impolite, so we obliged. The local Kava bars look so dodgy, they are basically just huts, you pop in, your Kava is served in a less than hygienic bowl and then down in one, before chomping on some mango to take away the taste. It’s not the most pleasant drink and it does leave your mouth a little numb but it’s about experiencing culture – seriously it is! Anyway we sat with the local guys for a little while and had a couple of photos before we grabbed our beer and continued on, this time inside the cab of the ute! More villages, more men with Machete’s the big double take was a child on his mothers shoulders with a bush knife, now that was a double take!
As we got nearer to our digs we could see the smoke rising from Mt Yasur, just a big thick cloud that had a brown glow to it because of the sun I reckon, when we turned a few more corners you could see that it was grey/black smoke bellowing out! We arrived at the bungalows and was greeted with a traditional headdress and a decorated coconut with a straw – very nice! We are the only people staying here at the moment so we were given a bigger hut, which meant a bed each, yay! First things first, get the Mozzie net in place to keep the little suckers out. We are very literally on the edge of the beach and ocean. The sand is black from the volcano and the waves are lapping at our door, well almost. Our porch has a day bed and a hammock, we did think we had a plug socket but we don’t, just lights that are available for a fair few hours at night. Our bathroom is attached and private but quite open to outside, the carpet is pebbles, very nice touch!
We had dinner around 7:30 which was tasty, but it is ridiculously expensive, there are no options, but they did cater for me being veggie. We have a stash of tuna, bread and crisps for Sarah, beans, spaghetti, bread and crisps for me (no facilities to warm them but hey ho!) we had also taken some very classy plastic forks from the airport and plastic glasses for the red wine stashed in the back pack – we are all class! We went to bed pretty early, nothing much else to do really was hoping for the Jon Frum Cargo Cult visit but it didn’t happen!