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Welcome to Sydney!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Vanuatu - Part 5 Tanna Island!

First, I'll apologize that this blog has ended up being so detailed. I'm sure some of you have enjoyed it and I'm sure some of you are saying, "enough already!" I wanted to document this for both my friends and family, but also for ourselves. So, for those who are saying - enough - I'm truly sorry - maybe just look at the pictures.

The next part of our journey and the last I will document was to Tanna Island. We stayed at Whitegrass Ocean Resort on Tanna Island. Tanna has about 35,000 people who live on it full time. The people live in villages of 200 to 300 people in them. Each village has a chief who is the leader and the chiefs come together periodically for overall governance. It is the same on Efate as Tanna. In Tanna, however, there is almost no electricity. I don't believe any of the villages have it and only a few hotels have it. I believe our generator is the only one that goes 24 hours and includes hot water. Most of the other hotels do not have any electricity at night or none at all. It is about a 45 minute flight away from Efate. There are no real paved roads.

Our hotel was beautiful and very rustic. The rooms were quite basic, but felt luxurious compared to what was on the rest of the island. We only stayed 2 nights, sadly. I was afraid that it would be too rough and hot and that I wouldn't like living without the amenities. The truth was that the people were so great and the island so interesting that we could easily have stayed several days more. I highly recommend visiting here and consider it one of the best travel experiences we have ever had.

This is the view we arrived to - ahhh! The beach right in front of the hotel is dark and rocky with volcano lava.

This was the first and only sunset we saw due to the cloudy weather while we were there.

This is our little hut.

Interestingly, we were #7 there and #17 in the Havannah...

The common grounds were very nice. We even had a resort dog, Blondie! There was also a cheeky "village" dog as he was called who looked a lot like Polly and Noodles. Like all the animals we saw, they looked well cared for and fed.

We went exploring on our own the first day before the volcano. The Blue Hole, which is a beautiful clear watered swimming spot is walking distance to the hotel. We walked there and came to a beach where locals held their boats and used. See how clear the water was?

Dan thought the path looked like chicken bones due to the coral. We didn't get in much because it was pretty cool that day, but beautiful!

These are just some bananas we saw on the walk.
This is the only picture of the room because this was really it and a couple of shelves.

After a nice lunch at the hotel, we met our tour guide and the group of 8 to head to Mt Yasur, the volcano. We met at 1:30 pm because it takes over 2 hours to travel the 14 kilometres (7 miles). And, remember, no paved roads. We rode with another couple in an SUV with our driver, Lulu and we picked up Selena on the way there, who was our guide for the volcano.

There was a surprise stop for us, which was a local village singing a welcome song and some hymns.

I thought these particular children sang so well for being so little. After they sang, they gave us these flowers.

Look at the two cheeky little boys on the side here, swinging on tree limbs. They were adorable and distracting to the singing!

From there, we headed to the volcano. This was our first glimpse in the distance, still an hour drive away.

I'll pick up on the volcano next time.

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