My wife, kids and I just arrived home from Vanuatu after 5 days off work. Greg at Oakton was kind enough to let me take some time in lieu of the long hours & weekends I've been working of late. We were originally going to head to Fiji or Thailand but decided to go to Vanuatu - which turned out to be a good decision considering some of the political turmoil in those countries. You can see all the photos are at the usual spot on my site - http://www.ddkonline.com/Gallery/2009_05_May_Vanuatu/gallery.html
Some of my fave things from the trip:
- The Mele Cascade Waterfalls were truly a vision of paradise on earth. As you continue along the stream to the turquoise swimming pools, there is beauty on every turn.
- My first visit to an active Volcano - Yasur Volcano on Tanna island. Unfortunately it had rained so couldn't see the lava very well. Despite this, we did see boulders being thrown a hundred metres into the air and heard the loud cracking & bubbling from the heart of the volcano. Not to mention, the ground we were working on was very hot and steaming as well. It made me appreciate the power of mother nature a little more.
- The water in the lagoon outside our front door was always warm so I could swim and kayak between the islands like I did before when staying on Beachcomber Island in Fiji on Schoolies (a while ago now :o) ).
- Captain Franz the pilot was an amazing guy and has flown 38 different types of aircraft and stopped in Vanuatu half way through his 2nd yacht trip around the world. Problem is that he needed no less than 2 pillows to see over the dash of our 6-seater Cessna as it was thrown around by the turbulence around Tanna Island.
- I've not been to a swim-up bar before. I'm not going to complain about the experience apart from the fact that heaving drinking and swimming probably isn't a great mix. The Mai Tais go down pretty easily when sitting in one of the 2 bars in the pool.
- The lagoon outside our doorstep was absolutely full of red, orange, white and blue starfish. I've never seen so many in one place. On account of their large numbers, at first I thought they must all be plastic!
- I always love to tease her about this one...a highlight was that my wife lost during a few late night visits to Jupiters Casino. It opened 2 months ago and the dealers are new and a bit questionable - but she decided to give it a go regardless. I always tell her that the house always wins... but she just doesn't listen :o)