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Vanuatu day 8 - Arriving in PARADISE :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vanuatu day 8 - Arriving in PARADISE :)

I still felt really sick this morning, although you’re not supposed to get a hangover from kava. I went online and took care of some stuff before I’m travelling up north, Champagne Beach and Lonnoc Beach.  I thought it might be a good idea to buy mozzie spray, because in Vanuatu there is a high risk of malaria infection, especially in the rural areas where I was heading, and I hadn’t taken any medication.
The bus ride took about 1,5 hours, and I enjoyed every second, although it was one bumpy ride! I got the front seat and the scenery was just amazing… Rivers, dense rainforest and palm trees everywhere. I couldn’t believe how green it is. Cows, horses, pigs, chickens and people from the villages. And the sun was finally shining, and I was in a bus. :(

When we finally got to Lonnoc Beach Bungalows, the only resort up there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. You should have seen the smile on my face. PARADISE.

They gave me the honeymoon suite. It was the biggest they got. Built the native style; open ceiling and cold shower, but still luxury when you compare it to how the locals live. And just a few meters from the shore! It was a small resort, not many guests, a group of old Aussie guys and 2 couples.

While the housekeeper was preparing my room, I thought I’d go for a dip before the sun goes down. White sand, crystal clear water; clearest I’ve ever seen, a hammock, palm trees… Just what I had been looking and waiting for. There were a few old Aussie men in the water, and I talked to them, and one of them borrowed his snorkel gear and I did a bit of snorkeling too. They invited me to go and have some kava with them in this local kava bar (literally in the middle of the jungle). I hesitated a bit, after all I did swear that I would never have it again, but you know how it goes… If I only had counted the days I’ve sworn not to touch alcohol after a big night out. So I agreed to go for a couple of shells.

I went in my bungalow, thinking I had arrived in the picture-perfect paradise where I would never want to leave… THEN I saw IT. It was staring at me with its eight eyes from the wall. I completely froze and couldn’t even breathe. I was afraid that if I made a move, it would make a move. I slowly backed out of the bungalow, and went to this local guy who was working there. I told him that I have a ‘small’ itsy-bitsy spider problem (diameter 15cm) and he came and took care of it.

After the sun had gone down, a car parked outside my bungalow and the ‘boys’ were calling for me ‘FIINLAAAND’ and I hopped to the back of the utility. I was hoping I’d get to try that, since it’s really popular here and I could never do that in Finland or Australia… Very bumpy ride, and I had to hold on not to fall off, but definitely an experience! A very authentic kava bar; once we got there, they just lifted the kava tank on the car and they only had two cups, so 2 people drank at a time. The boys bought me 2 shells, tried to convince me to have some more but I couldn’t. I already felt sick and dizzy after drinking only 2.
Me, Daniel, who was working at the resort, Neville and the kava tank

We went back to the resort and had dinner, with some wine, beer and brandy. Old Aussie guys in their 60s reminiscing… The stories just wouldn’t end. Alan came down to help me with my mosquito net and borrowed me his snorkel gear and torch. Soon after I got to my bungalow about 9 pm, the electricity went out. We only had electricity for 2-3 hours in the evenings. It was just me, candles, a lantern and my torch. Reading in the candle light and listening how the waves hit the shore… The only thing that was disturbing my paradise were the bugs. Mosquitoes and geckos… Of course I bought the cheapest mozzie spray they had, and I think that only made the mosquitoes attack me even more. There were also some kinds of tiny little bugs on my bed that I was trying to get rid of. And when I closed my eyes, I could see all the spiders crawling on me. The ceiling was open, so anything might have come inside. Still, I fell asleep quickly, listening to the waves.

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