Sunday 25 April 2010

Vanuatu: mie tung felth num, and it only took one shell

On ANZAC day we went with our friends to a small but moving dawn service held at the war memorial 'on top' in Port Vila.  The service was followed by a free breakfast, a snooze, and then some lazy beach time at Erakor island.

The next day we went to the 'Secret Garden', which had heaps of hilarious kustom stories like the one pictured, and a great array of information and wildlife.  The coconut crab was very cool (they only eat coconuts!!), although someone should tell the tourists that they are endangered, because they are a common menu item in restaurants.

Our lovely hosts took us to 'The Havannah' for lunch, which was amazing.  If you want super-luxury honeymooner bungalows on Efate, this is where you should be.  Apparently they turned down Cate Blanchett because of their no kids policy!

At night we went to a cool Kava bar called Hennington's, one of hundreds of kava bars in Port Vila.  You can recognise them by the lanterns they hang out on the street, there are usually no other signs, and often the 'bar' is not much more than a shack or someone's house.  Hennington's has a beautiful view over the lagoon.

Unlike in Fiji where Kava is drunk as part of a ceremony, in Vanuatu you drink your kava in one go, on your own and facing away from the other bar patrons.  After you have drunk your 'shell', you sit down at a table for some snacks and conversation with friends to 'listen to the Kava'.  Kava is a muscle relaxant, but the most obvious effect is numbness of the lips and tongue.  It tastes horrible and looks like muddy water.  NiVans will tell you they have the strongest Kava in the world.

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