Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vanuatu: Day II

Friday, January 30th:

Our second day dawned bright and...well, raining. After hearing all the exciting things the other couples were telling us the night before, we decided it was time to explore and work out what we wanted to do while we were there. We headed downstairs to the Guest Relations desk (which had me in fits of laughter, but that's simply because I have a filthy mind) and looked through hundreds of brochures before deciding on booking ourselves in to a snorkeling safari the following day, a half day horse ride and the sunset yacht cruise around Port Vila at the end of our stay.
As I was pretty tired from our Sydney Passport Impounding flight, we decided to take it easy and see the sights of the town before taking a kayak trip around the lagoon in the resort.

I've got a lovely pair of...pineapples. Me enjoying the 24/7 Market.
We headed downstairs to get ourselves a cab, and made the short journey into the heart of the town towards the 24 hour fruit market we'd seen the night before. Once we'd wandered around the street and had a gander in the duty free stores, we discovered the market - and it was unlike anything I'd experienced before. We'd been told that entire families went, and took it in turns to sleep while the others served. There were so many smiling faces and colorful characters in amongst the coconuts, bananas and pineapples, and more sweet potatoes than I've ever seen and in every different color. I also discovered piles of crabs; tied up together in stacks with baling twine. I had every intention of setting them free, but was dragged away before I could spend all my Vatu on freeing them.

My mangled foot.
After we got back to the resort, we life-jacketed up, set out on our kayaks, and I found that although I am ridiculously uncoordinated and untalented, I managed to take to it like a fish to...well, water. Although apparently one isn't supposed to do it cross legged. As we paddled to the other side, Cam seemed to think it would be hilarious to climb into my kayak and...cuddle, and as he did so, we sort of...well, we capsized. And as we capsized, my foot hit the side of the flimsy plastic...and damn, it hurt. Like, really badly. Who would have guessed I'd hurt myself in the most innocent way the second day in? (note the use of sarcasm).

The only upside? I had my first experience with room service. It was delicious, and totally worth the agony and hideous bruising.
As I wasn't feeling particularly great during the afternoon, I had a quick nap while Cam finished reading Lance Armstrong's biography...and my little nap ended up with me sleeping all the way through Happy Hour and into the evening. I wasn't impressed, but knew I needed the sleep after my neurosis on the flight wore me out.

Cam getting ready for the fray.
I woke up starving, and we decided to go to Chill, the restaurant we'd heard so much about from the evening before. Once we got there, the debate about how upset I'd be regarding Cam's choice of crab vs lobster began. I eventually guilt-tripped him out of the lobster, and shortly afterwards an enormous coconut crab arrived, complete with nutcracker to break the little suckers legs and minion to tie on a bib for him (Cam, I mean, not the crab). It was quite possibly the most barbaric act I've witnessed. Even after devouring my (extremely delicious) Efate Satay (the name of the main island in Vanuatu is Efate, hence the name) there was still an hour of watching Cam dismember the poor invertebrate with relish. We learned later in the trip that coconut crabs are endangered, and just exactly why they're named coconut crabs (wait until day 5, y'all!)

Waiting for the world to change? Nah, just those creepy crab legs to be taken away.
As I sat awaiting the end of the destruction, I watched the view from Chill. The restaurant was literally built hanging over the water, and the rain was coming down in straight sheets, which looked almost like snow as it swirled down magically in the glowing light. As we left, we stood under shelter to look at the rain, and watched, mesmerized, as several fish swum in a school on top of the water in synchronized patterns. It was another lovely - and early - end to our second night in Vanuatu, and I was getting filled with nervous excitement about our third day, when I was to go snorkeling for the first time...


Anonymous said...

"the most barbaric act you have witnessed"? I have to say your sad eyes took away some of the pleasure of how good it was! the chilli and tomato flavour was absolutely amazing but so messy to eat...

Sue said...

Excellent! This is much cheaper living vicariously through your vacation than taking one myself.

I do love Lance Armstrong's books!

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