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Published: February 8th 2010
Where we met to get our lifejackets and briefing.
Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands lying between New Caledonia and Fiji in the South Pacific. Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu. Situated on the south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province, where the city population is around 38,000. Port Vila is the economic and commercial center of Vanuatu. Vanuatu was a another location for Survivor.
The area occupied by Port Vila has been inhabited by Melanesian people for thousands of years. After 1887, the territory was jointly administered by the French and the British. This was formalized in 1906 as an Anglo-French condominium. During World War II, Port Vila was an American and Australian airbase. In 1987, a cyclone severely damaged the city. Another powerful earthquake in January 2002 caused extensive damage in the capital and surrounding areas.
Port Vila is Vanuatu’s most important harbor and the center of the country’s trade. It also has an international airport in the city called Bauerfield International. The main industries are agriculture and fishing. Tourism is also becoming important. Vanuatu is still dependent on foreign aid, most of which comes from Australia and New Zealand, although in recent years aid has also come
Got a Match?
One of the crew over the bow on a rope ladder doing some painting.
from the People’s Republic of China.
It’s a beautiful day and Doug started it at 7:45am with a jet-boat adventure. Sorry there are no photos of it other than where we met to get our lifejackets and briefing next to our ship. It was an exciting and exhilarating way to view the Port Vila Harbor, but also a wet one. We were asked not to take any cameras because we were going to get wet. It was a 30-minute high-speed adventure filled with massive sideways slides, wild fishtails, 360-degree spins, twists and turns and plenty of splashes! Chiropractor anyone?
After that Doug took the short walk back to the ship and went back to the room to dry off and change clothes quick for our 8:45 tour to the Ekasup Cultural Village, awarded Vanuatu’s best tourist attraction for the past two years. This realistically featured the ancient Melanesian lifestyle in Vanuatu’s rainforest. Once we arrived by coach, we were met by a villager with a conch shell, who announced our arrival by blowing in the shell as he escorted us down a path to the village. The Ekasup villagers were in very traditional dress and gave us a
The welcome sign to Ekasup Cultural Village
very good insight into the magical and mysterious world of ancient Melanesia in their village nestled in the Erakor Rainforest. We were then introduced to the chief, who gave us a very informative tour of his village, showing us how they lived each day, fishing, hunting and trapping, food preservation and cooking, and basket weaving. He gave us a very good demonstration of their traditional remedies and how they are derived from herbs, roots, bark and leaves. He told us of all their customs and their history of human cannibalism from the not-to-distant past, even as late as the 1960’s. This was a very interesting and worthwhile tour.
Later, after returning to the ship, we cleaned up and met George, Duffy, Tweedie and Mac in the Observation Lounge at 6:00 for a cocktail and off to Signatures Restaurant for a great dinner with them.
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