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  • Day50

    Port Vila, Vanuatu

    March 13, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    Today we are docked in wild and wonderful Vanuatu. At 7:30 this morning, it was already 90 degrees and probably 95% humidity.
    We had signed up for a “bushwalk” which sounded like “fun” (we call that the F word).
    It was truly amazing. It was an opportunity for 10 of us to get away from the beaches and the resorts and see what real life is like on a remote island in a country like Vanuatu.
    Vanuatu is made up of 80 islands with a couple of larger cities scattered throughout. It is a country that has about 90-95% unemployment. Their main income source is tourism. We were allowed in today, but I’m sure it was a difficult decision to turn away another ship carrying 3000 passengers for fear of Coronavirus. They remain untouched so far, but introduction of the virus would be devastating to them.
    We drove about 30 minutes to a rough path and went on our way through the jungle. The heat was oppressive and I instantly realized that my shower and the semi-cute outfit that I had donned that morning were pointless. Within minutes my shirt was soaked, not only from sweating, but from wiping the sweat dripping off my face. We saw many interesting plants and the sky was beautifully blue with puffy clouds. We passed a women dressed more heavily than I would have been and carrying a fur jacket. I guess heat is all relative. We walked along some open jungle paths, some narrower, enclosed paths, some beach areas filled with hand-hewn fishing boats and did a rock scramble. The expedition experience on this cruise is new, and we saw it here! Usually, walks are described by saying “you walk 200 meters, or need to navigate a couple of steps onto the bus”. This was more climbing than I’ve done! We had two strong local men that helped us, but it was still a challenge. Everyone was a good sport, cheering each other on, and giving a good yell when reaching the top.
    Something that we found most interesting was that the houses and homesteads were beautifully tended, if very simple. The roofs are thatched and many have vegetable gardens-people tend to be self-sufficient here due to the high unemployment rate.
    The lawns are gorgeous, all done with stringtrimmers. I asked about the pristine nature of all the homesteads and was told it was a cultural expectation. Their is a chief for each area who assigns certain pieces of ground to various individuals and helps maintain the order.
    Another shower after the hike, and still another shower after getting caught in a deluge of rain when we went back into town in the afternoon.
    In any case, I am super clean and had a great walk that afforded us guilt-free eating and drinking for dinner!
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  • Day18

    What a Paradise - auf Inselerkundung

    November 21, 2019 in Vanuatu ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Heute habe wir mal ein wenig länger geschlafen-bis 9! Ich wurde von meinem Mann mit einem traumhaften Frühstück geweckt! Merci Schatzi!
    Blick vom Bett aus, was für ein Traum! Besser kann ein Tag nicht starten!
    Danach haben wir uns ein Auto für die nächsten Tage gemietet, tja es hatte leider nur eine Ford Pick up übrig! Nicht schlimm, denn hier auf der Insel ist das ein gutes „Ford“bewegungsmittel ;).
    Wir fuhren los zur Blue Lagoon, an Palmenplantagen und wunderschönen Strandabschnitten entlang.
    Angekommen mussten wir zwar Eintritt zahlen (wie eigentlich an jedem Strand hier - zw. 2 - 10 chf). Es hat sich dennoch gelohnt! Wunderschöne Lagune!
    Zum Abendessen haben wir uns für das K2 Kitchen Restaurant entschieden, mal was anderes: Teryaki Chicken Bowle und Beef Satay-sfaction. Eine Fusionküche aus arabischen, asiatischen Elementen. Yummy! Another day in pardise...
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    Ohhhh ...will au....

    Patrick Muheim

    Ich will auch wider auf Reisen gehen! 🥰 Ist schon viel zu lange her... 🙈


    Hallo ihr beiden, könnt ihr mir bitte sagen wo ihr da untergekommen seid? Danke!

    Sandra Schürmann

    Hallo Grid, wir sind in der Fatumaro Lodge in Port Vila gewesen, war klein aber fein🥰 Super nettes Personal.


    Danke, Sandra! Bin gerade in der Vorbereitung und überlege welche Flüge ich buche um die einzelnen Inseln zu besuchen. Mit Schiffen scheint ja nicht soviel möglich zu sein. Bin mal gespannt und hoffe vor Ort Möglichkeiten zu finden...

  • Day17

    1. gemeinsame Tauchgänge als Dive Buddy

    November 20, 2019 in Vanuatu ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Heute sind wir wieder früh los, die ersten beiden gemeinsamen Tauchgänge als Dive Buddies standen auf dem Programm!
    Es waren zwei sehr schöne Tauchgänge bei denen wir 4 Babyriffhaie beim relaxen, Nemos Familie und andere Meeresbewohner kennenlernen durften!
    Wir freuen uns schon auf weitere Abenteuer unter Wasser z.b. in Australien.
    Hier auf Vanuatu wollen wir jetzt aber noch die Insel und Bewohner erkunden! Es gibt bestimmt noch viel zu sehen auf diesem Insel Paradies!
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    könnt ihr uns auch einen Nemo nach Hause schicken? Die Katzen würde es freuen!


    Nemo 😍


    Ihr sehr toll aus 😍 lasst es euch gut gehen 😘 Lg. Anna u Leon

    Patrick Muheim

    Sehr schöne Bilder! 🤩🐠🦈

  • Day14

    Paddy Open Water Course

    November 17, 2019 in Vanuatu ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    Erster Tag von Peters Ausbildung zum Taucher🐠. Am Abend zuvor hat er 3 von 5 Kapitel des Theoriebuches abgerackert (was für eine Leistung ich hätte 2 Tage gebraucht, zum Glück habe ich die Ausbildung schon). Heute ging es in den Pool und für den 1. Tauchgang ab ins Meer. Was hab ich gemacht? Genau: NIX, auch mal schön! Am Pool gechillt, in der Hängematte gechillt und einige Sachen vorbreitet für unsere weiteren Reiseziele. Hab mit dem Hotelpersonal ein Schwätzchen gehalten (die sind alle sehr nett hier) und einen Lieblingsinselradiosender (Paradise FM) gefunden! Chakaaaa was für ein Sonntag, mit schönem Sonnenuntergang!Read more

    Geniesst jede einzelne Minute! Hier ist‘s kalt, nass... zum 😭😭😭! ♥️lichst grüss ich euch beide z.Z. am schönschte Plätzli uf dr Wält, Elsa

    Sandra Schürmann


    Dora Sarasin

    Hallo Sandra, Glückwunsch zu Eurem schönen Honeymoon! Wir sind auch im Südpazifik unterwegs. Grad in Port Vila angekommen und mässig zufrieden mit unserer Unterkunft. Habt Ihr eine Empfehlung? Sauber, entspannt, nicht Luxus, aber zum Wohlfühlen... Dein Foto sieht toll aus. Gruss von Andrea mit Familie

    3 more comments
  • Day108

    Enjoying Port Vila

    January 25, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Our first couple days in Vanuatu have been very relaxing. After arriving a day late, we were happy to get settled into our lodging and look around. On the first night, we got an invite by the local hashers to join in on karaoke night just up the street from where we are staying. Jo was all about that, so off we went. Nice dinner, followed by 2 hours of singing, a great time. After a good nights sleep, we had a day to wander around town, get some groceries, and do some laundry. Today, Jo went SCUBA diving again, and I worked on writing some hash info for my upcoming monthly post. Then this afternoon we had lunch on the water, and drove out to the east for a hike up to a waterfall. The waterfall hike turned out to be a half mile stroll up a stream, to a swimming hole with a small waterfall. Sort of disappointing, but a nice day out on the town.Read more


    Not my photo, had to pull it off the interweb. We did not have this much water flow today.


    Strolling up the creek


    More strolling


    Ooooooohh, the water hole.

  • Day7

    Windy Beach Time

    February 2, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ 🌫 31 °C

    Another surprise addition to our itinerary was Mystery Island. A small, uninhabited island, just 1.5sq km in size, the most southern part of Vanuatu. It's uninhabited, allegedly, as the locals believe it to be haunted after dark. Instead, they travel from a larger neighboring island whenever a cruise ship is in town, to sell goods/tours/services to make a living.

    Everything happened at a snails pace this morning. My throat kills and kept me awake a lot but I'm hanging in there. Ryland slept in a little so we didn't get to breakfast until 9ish.. Everyone else was on the same schedule so there were delays getting tendered and we didn't set foot on Mystery Island til around 11am.

    Nat and I traveled here just under 3 years ago. That day it was two of us, first ashore on a still sunny morning. Today was a much different affair. You can walk around Mystery Island casually in about 45 minutes. In our circumstances, with our luggage and dual-towing little lordling around in his pram over sand-paths like overworked huskies, in strong winds, we may have met the evening spectres of local legend. It was also hard to find a tree without 4 people under it. Nat was quick to find the spiders though, I calmly noted a large white stowaway climbing down her dress. She was quick to ask him to disembark.

    You could easily call the location spider island. Every other tree has a giant network with tropical eight legged occupants the size of your hand. We eventually mushed our way around all the local salesmen and tour guides to a beach on the far side of the island, still packed, still very windy. Nonetheless we set up camp here under a palm tree to enjoy some family swimming. The water was perfect, though the winds made it very, very choppy and... full of seaweed, pulled up from the seabed.

    Ryland still loved his time here swimming with us in temperate turquoise waters. The weather remained windy and rotated from clouds, to sunshine, to some scattered showers which were actually warm and refreshing.

    I did take the opportunity to test out my snorkel here again for half hour or so, managing to reduce leakage. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of fish I saw, just standing distance from the shore.. Angelfish, parrot fish, large white, and blue ones.. at least 20-30, from 15cm-1m in length. Way better viewing than Isle of Pines, much less quantity than Vila, but a few bigger ones.

    At this point, Nat had her fill with snorkeling and her burns, so we moved on to wander the market stalls on the island. I picked up a nice seashell that you can hear an echo within (sound of the sea). Ryland loved it as expected. I paid a couple dollars to hold some local lizards, which was fun. We tendered back relatively painlessly to be back aboard by 2.30pm, burn free!

    It was a low key afternoon, some lunch, a small snooze and a wander around decks. I was in awe of the larger vast island on our port side, named Aneityum (opposite Mystery Island) - sparse homes scattered the shore, but beyond, dense tropical jungle that stretched on for miles to the base of a looming mountain range. There was little to no signs of habitation beyond the shore, it looked almost untouched wilderness.

    Rylands late nap meant a few laps of the ship were required to get him to sleep. I decided I'd get some sleep after dinner to get up and watch Arsenal play live at midnight in the sports bar. Turns out it was a 1am kick off... and with the game goalless at half time at 1.50am right now (and FINISHED 0-0), I'm more than half regretting that decision. We're up at 8am tomorrow to do a tour on the Tchou Tchou train in Noumea.
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  • Day6

    Welcome to Vanuatu

    February 1, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ 🌧 31 °C

    Lush, vivid green jungle welcomed us from all sides as our ship rolled into Port Vila at around 8.30am. This would be a new location for all three of us!

    Vila is actually the capital of Vanuatu. The docking port itself is nothing remarkable, being largely industrial, for shipping/trading. After breakfast we rolled off the ship for our tour just after 9.

    Small group today, just the 5 of us to be transferred by shuttle to our semi-submarine tour. This was just another city where what seems like crazy driving to us, works for them. It's right side of the road driving, give way sometimes, check your phone while driving and use petrol stations as short cuts to overtake traffic.

    The "semi-submarine glass bottom boat" looked a bit alarming at first glimpse (now analyzing everything through a parents eyes.. - small motorboat with no secure railings). All would work out fine though, we'd have a fantastic time. Having the other 2 passengers (Hayley and Skye - friends in their mid 20s) helped a lot managing/juggling our bags and Ryland.

    Not unlike yesterday, a brief shower of rain belted down on us. This was well timed for us to head below deck into a lowered couch/seating area surrounded by windows for our personal moving aquarium. A great secure spot for Ryland. There was LOTS to see from this viewpoint.. coral formations, clown fish, angelfish, parrot fish, starfish and more! Junior loved it.

    After a half hour or so, we reached a spot to drop anchor and go snorkeling. Gear was provided today so we didn't need our own. The rain had just about eased off as I jumped in to snorkel. I was braced for a freeze, but that wasn't forthcoming. The turquoise waters were a pleasant 26c... just perfect.

    I spent half hour or so snorkeling around the boat, hand-feeding fish and having them swim all around me. Great viewing all round. Especially facing the boat I could see Ryland staring and giving me high fives through the glass. Before long, we switched turns and Nat snorkeled while I watched junior.

    When time was up we headed back to the port by boat and van. There was an extensive market set up here we could wander through. Nat and Ryland picked up some clothes. Local currency and a magnet was good enough for me. There were a few scattered local music performances here and just a chance to chat with some locals was nice. The weather has been so erratic. The sun seems to ignite the humid air into a BBQ when it appears, then sudden downpours bring some wind, soaking and refreshment.

    We spent most the late afternoon onboard, Ryland snoozing and us enjoying the temporary jungle backdrop to our balcony. By about 7.30 junior was out like a log in his pram allowing us to keep our perfect record of dining out at the major restaurant for dinner.

    I'm actually fighting off an illness now.. my throat is majorly inflamed and scratchy/uncomfortable. Maybe it's the onset of coronaviris and I'll soon crave human flesh, we'll see.

    Tomorrow we arrive at Mystery Island (Vanuatu) known for its beaches and turtles. Nothing booked here but beach-side, so we're happy today to have enjoyed such a great day with no additions to our burns.
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  • Day110

    Port Vila H3 Trail #2283

    January 27, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Had an amazing trail with the hash here today in Vanuatu. We had a few issues with finding the start, including a pin dot that was in an open field, and my cell phone that just dies at random . . . but we did find the start just in time as the pack was headed out. The trail was excellent, with a start uphill straight into the shiggy. Was a bit frustrating going up, as it was all single file in a conga line. This left me dead last by the time we reached the top as I helped others through barbed wire fences. Once we reached the top, it was back on the road, following the tail end of the pack. We got to a point that turned out to be about a mile+ from the finish, marked by an arrow that signified . . . find your own way back to the start. Fortunately we were with a local hasher who explained this to us, and led us back home. In the circle, the local rabble was full of fun, cussing up a storm and full of jokes. Lots of good humored banter about fuck all, so I jumped in with a few songs, which always leads to more fun. In the end, we made a bunch of new friends, and had an amazing time on the hash. Port Vila H3 is not to be missed. On On. more

  • Day109

    Doing the loop, around Efate (Vanuatu)

    January 26, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Full day touring on Efate, drove all the way around the island (~125 Kms). Absolutely gorgeous island, but sparsely populated, so most of the drive was just grass on both sides of the road. Had some spectacular views of the ocean and beach, and some overlooks. Drove past a WWII museum (see pictures), they asked ~$5 admission. One room, and by what I could see from outside consisted of mostly old Coke bottles. Gave it a miss. :o) Drove another 25 kms and found a lovely ocean side resort for lunch. Maybe 10 people there, so was busy. The food was delicious, had a spicy chicken roll. After that, we had another 40 Kms to the next tourist trap . . . the Blue Lagoon. Pictures looked like a cool swimming hole, but they wanted ~$10 each to see it, so gave it a miss. Overall it was a very nice drive around the island.

    Since they have blue laws here (no alcohol sales from 1130 Sat - 0730 Mon) in stores, we ventured back to the Iron Horse Saloon for dinner and drinks, and played cards for a couple hours. As the sun was setting, we wandered back to the hacienda, and watched a movie. I really like this island. :o)
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  • Day79

    Around Efate, Vanuatu

    January 26, 2020 in Vanuatu ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Just a Sunday drive!
    First photo is a view of our lunch spot!
    2nd is outside the WWll museum, basically a grass hut with some old coke bottles and such inside!!
    3rd is more pretty views!
    4th is my new friend I met at lunch, I shared my coconut lime fish!!
    5 and 6 were just some fun stuff!!
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    Patricia Welsh

    Looks beautiful! Love the birds singing in the video!


You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Vanuatu, Vanuatu, ቫኑአቱ, فانواتو, Вануату, Vanuwatu, ভানুয়াটু, ཝ་ནུ་ཨ་ཐུ།, Vanuatu nutome, Βανουάτου, Vanuatuo, وانواتو, Wanuwaatuu, Vanuatú, વાનુઆતુ, Banuwatu, ואמוטו, वन्वातु, Վանուատու, Vanatú, バヌアツ共和国, ვანუატუ, ವನೌಟು, 바누아투, ڤانوواتوو, Vanawuwatu, ວານົວຕູ, Vanoatò, Ванату, വന്വാത്തു, वानौटु, Vanwatu, Vhanuatu, भानुआतु, ଭାନୁଆତୁ, ونواتو, Vanuatü, වනුවාටු, வனுவாட்டு, వనౌటు, ประเทศวานูอาตู, Vanuatu Cumhuriyeti, ۋانۇئاتۇ, وینوآٹو, Vanuatuäns, Orílẹ́ède Faniatu, 瓦努阿图, i-Vanuatu

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