Ifira Island as we cruised past.
My World, do visit lots of other people's world.
Cruising the Pacific. Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The Pacific Sun sailed during the night, from Mystery Island, on to Port Vila the major island in the Vanuatu group. We have been here before for a couple of weeks, 2 years ago, when we met and made friends with Christopher and his wife Niven and child Trisha, they had us visit their home on an island out from the city of Vila where only the native people live, no white people at all. We were really looking forward to seeing them again, there had been many emails about where we were to meet and the things we would all do when we met up. It would be the day before Vanuatu's Independence Day and Christopher said we would all celebrate early over on Ifira Island with all the family, we really looked forward to this, it probably meant lots of kava drinking for the men and lots of talking and singing and eating for the ladies, but we never got to find out unfortunately.
The ship docked about 8am and we managed to get ourselves off ship and into a local bus which for $6.00 Aus took us into town, usually it would be about $2-00 Vatu but it was cruise ship day, a chance for locals to make a little extra, so we played the game with all the other passengers, but we got dropped off at the Ifira jetty rather than where ever the others got taken. First we went to the market, where I found a huge coconut crab all trussed up and photographed it with a small boy that was nearby, how we would have liked to buy that crab, last time we didn't get a chance to try this great Vanuautuan delicacy and wish we could of this time. We then bought a huge hand of bananas to take as a gift for the family ( we already had masses of gifts from New Zealand for Christopher, Niven and Trisha, which we had in our bag, along with our swimming togs and towels and sun screen etc.
But although we waited more than an hour at the meeting place we had agreed upon Christopher didn't arrive. We left messages with lots of people from the island, and several people tried to phone him for us, but it was no go. We wonder how we managed to miss each other. So eventually we decided we had better do something with our day, so we caught the free ferry to Iriki Island, at least we knew it as a free ferry as it had been when we were there before, but all the other tourists had to pay, since it was cruise ship day, we just walked on like we owned the ferry and sat down, no one asked us to pay. When we got to Iriki resort we were met by a native dressed in traditional clothing, then we just hailed a cruising small transporter and went to the big swimming pool complex that we had swum in before. (There are at least 4 or 5 different pools all near each other) No one stopped us but after our swim we found a notice saying the pool was only for paying guests! Too late we had already swum. So we bought some food and drinks from the resort and ate up all our gift bananas, them lazed in the sun with others from the ship that had found the same place, before catching the free ferry back then catching a local bus back to the ship, this time for $2.00 Vatu. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves but we did so miss seeing our friends again. maybe next time, if there is a next time.