Everything I wish I had known before I landed! Vanuatu isn’t a very popular or accessible backpacker destination, but it’s absolutely incredible and well worth the visit.
The paranoia about catching my connecting flights from Santo to Port Vila and then home to Auckland has left me unable to sleep. A storm wakes me up in the middle of the night, and sparks a lucid dream where my flight is cancelled due to weather, and I’m running around the airport in a captains hat, urgently trying to charter my own plane. I have become Jeff with a J.
I wake up to a faint rumbling that lasts a few seconds, settle back in and just before I fall asleep, it happens again. Could it be a giant truck driving past? I’ve stayed here 3 nights now and haven’t experienced this before so it seems unlikely. At breakfast, everyone else says they felt the shaking as well so we give it a quick Google to find it was, in fact, an earthquake. A 5.2 magnitude from Tanna – maybe I did make the right choice by coming to Santo. Yikes. Google doesn’t pull up any articles about fatalities though, so fortunately I don’t think it was very serious.
I caught a ride back to Luganville with the German couple from Port Olry this morning. Since arriving at 11 I’ve been pressed to find something to do, but it seems most activities start around 8:30. I’ve heard (there’s never any definitive information, everything is word of mouth) that there’s a free ferry over to Aore Island, just a quick trip from Santo. I ask at my lodge for some information or a timetable but there’s nothing – just multiple ferries per day.
Waking up to the sound of ocean waves is almost as good as falling asleep to them. It would be a lot easier to get up for work every day if this was outside my door.
I’ve met some nice French girls at my hostel who are hitting the blue holes today (which I’ve already done) but are kind enough to give me a ride to town. I’m kicking myself because I haven’t made any strong decisions yet. I’ve kind of been puttering about trying to figure out what I want to do, and I’m really just wasting time.
Waking up at 4 is rough, why do I do this to myself?! I had spoken to the woman who runs the hostel last night and told her I planned to take a bus to the airport but she looked at me like I was crazy.
I meet a French girl at my hostel who is also living in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa, and leaving on the same flight home as I am next week. We discuss our travel plans (or lack thereof) over breakfast.
Vanuatu has 83 islands, but domestic flights are expensive and not only am I time poor, I am also poor poor. So I have to make the choice to either go North to Espíritu Santo (better known as just Santo) or South to Tanna.
Having now definitively made the decision to leave New Zealand, I feel I need to take one more Pacific Island trip before I go. Who knows when I’ll be back on this side of the world again?
Vanuatu has always piqued my interest, I’m not really sure why. I think just because it’s such an enigma; it seems so untouched and rich in culture. I signed up for a bunch of different flight deal websites that send you emails when there’s unusually low fares on sale. Don’t do it unless you know you’re ready to go somewhere because it’s highly addictive and you WILL book a flight…. I’ve been tempted for months. So when one popped up for Vanuatu, $420 return, I had to do it.