Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arriving at Port Vila

Ok, this is a hard one. The mix of emotions was a little overwhelming. Stepping off the plane at night, was like walking into a sauna. That feeling I probably won't forget so soon...
The airport was very small and the control not very tight, as I had heard it would be. We just walked off there, no questions, no problems... Some people were being checked though, so we might have been the exception.

Then I took some money from the ATM machine and bought a SIM card. Jeanette was about to do the same though the ATM machine "swallowed" her card and then displayed someting like "out of order, please go to another ATM"... nice! :)

To go into town there were 2 options, bus or taxi. The buses were over at that time though, so it had to be taxi... 1500 Vatu, around 140 SEK or 13 euros. For an extremely short ride... the taxis here are a rip off. The buses however work really well, that will come on a next post.

Dark, dark, dark... some people walking around at night, random lights at some distance, but mostly just dark. Only when arriving in the city center were there lights, from the hotels, shops... stepped off the taxi and went into the room. Very small room, but functional. The mattresses, from which I am now writing, are like rock. I am always waking up with some limb going numb :) And for the cherry on top of the cake, while taking a shower, a nice "little" cockroach decided to appear on the shower curtain, next to my face. Just to say hello... I tried to end its life, but it escaped and ran into the room... still at this time it is hiding someplace probably waiting for the right time to pop out again... :)

We decided to go for a walk. Everything was closed, it was dark. There was at times a very loud sound of bats. Cockroaches on the sidewalk by the dozens... scary at first, and a little disturbing. We hadn't slept in quite some time and this first impression was somewhat intimidating :)

There were some people sitting on the sidewalk (now I know they are security guards for the shops), the market place, which is open 24 hours it's an amazing view, specially during night time, and some cars passing with loud music and people screaming, most likely coming from parties. Everyone says "hello" as you pass... this is almost like a law. Everyone greets you in Vanuatu, with a warm, welcoming, smile.

Note: I am writing this two days after arrival. Internet is slow and unstable and it takes ages to upload pictures, write a post and all... I am trying to write from the perspective I had when I arrived, which was, a little scary... it is hard to write from that perspective now, since the day after (yesterday) was, in short, mind-blowing :)


  1. Great description ! Keep them coming, we will read you avidly. I wonder how you are controlling your emotions next to all those bugs :) And I particularly liked that people there greet with a smile, wouldn't it be nice if they did the same in our countries ? Is it a price we have to pay for 'development'?

    Beijos Pusuja !!!! Mano e Mari

  2. Quer dizer... e tal e tal e tal: mind-blowing!
    Tas a aprender a gerir o suspense??? Conta :)

  3. nice! yeah be sure to update often! see you in a couple of months man!