Published: January 13th 2012January 13th 2012
From well before we docked there were hundreds of vans willing to take us to town
Shore day in Port Vila Vanuatu. This is the capital and on the island of Efate, the south west of the group of islands formerly known as The New Hebrides as named and chartered by Captain Cook. A small capital of around 30,000 people from a mix of nationalities with the principal language of Bislama (pidgin type of language ) English and French. In the harbour lies the island of Iririki which has expensive looking resorts doted around.
There seems to be quite a lot of marketing of homes and villa to expats, lots of real estates.
The harbor had a constant sea mist today, not sure if this is usual. It was hot and muggy when we disembarked and we ran the gauntlet of the taxis and vans lined up and took one to town. There is aggressive marketing of these to all and sundry and markets are set up for the ships that pull in. The conditions of these vans and taxis are questionable with a hole in the front floor of the one into town and a door hanging by a wing and prayer and gaffer tape in the one on the way back. Obviously
road worthiness is not high on the list of priorities here. Vanuatuans drive on the right side of the road as per Europe with mostly left hand drive vehicles.
The town itself is quite run down and has a bit of a sad and tired look to it. Today was a public holiday, so museums and some facilities were closed. There were plenty of shops and cafes and restaurants all aimed directly at the tourist dollar, all happy to take Australian dollars. Conversion rates vary with each place you visit.
Most of the town looked like it needed tourism and relied on it heavily. Locals were out and about wandering along the sea front. We just missed the food market and were left with the lovely aromas of left over rotting fruit and and fish guts.
We ate local today, banana muffins and banana bread for morning tea and supermarket hot food of quiche, a type of chicko roll, hot chips with a local beer, Vanuatu Bitter. Martin declared it extremely malty and not to his taste. But at $1- a bottle who's complaining.
An earlier beer of "Tusker" at the Anchor cafe for $5-
each was quite nice.
So we walked and looked and wandered in and out of the shops, and ate and drank and got back to the ship at 3pm. Oh the luxury of a shower, clean clothes and aircon. Am taking a real liking to this luxury!
Think today's heat and sun has taken it's toll. We have felt very apathetic all night.
The ship was supposed to have sailed at 5-30pm so we were all ready to be part of the Oasis sail away party but we did not leave until around 7-30pm and around 7pm the gangway finally was drawn up after an ambulance was seen beside it. No explanation was given other than there was a delay.
There are few audio announcements other than the procedure for disembarking and quarantine regulations when we have a shore day. The captain does deliver a little chat to us each day via the intercom, he is Italian and very humorous.
Early tea of cold salads, couple of beers, white wine, the Neil Diamond tribute show by Peter Byrne and we are tucked up in bed by 8-30pm. Haha, must be getting
Sea mist all day
old, we have done 5 nights of midnight and it's caught up!
Wala Island tomorrow.
There are more photos below