A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Vanuatu Part 5 Visit to Santo

What a weekend. Flew up to Santo Esprito Island obstentiously to look at a future wharf construction but really a good excuse to have a long weekend away.

Santo is about 45 minutes flight north of Port Vila. We left Sunday Morning and had time for work inspections then a trip up the east coast.

We travelled up from the bottom right hand corner up to the yellow star shown above.

Has a swim and for lunch coconut crab cooked in a mild curry sauce. Fantastic.  I cannot begin to describe the taste except to say writing this I could eat another one!!!

The beach. Well I thought I had seen them all. But this was a s good as it gets.  Possibly one of the best beached I have ever seen.  Had a swim and relaxed.

On the way back we looked as some coconut drying houses and native plants. The kilns were not operating as it was a public holiday.

In particular we were shown the native Kava plant famous for its root drink.  If you've never heard of Kava now is the time to learn  10 things you need to know about Kava.  And it works.  I've tried it a few times. You just relax.  Funny thing is your lips go numb and the legs seem ot have a mind of their own. But very different to Alcohol or dope. And it does not leave any headache or after effects except to reduce appetite and make you a bit lazy.  Both good results don't you agree ?

 Plenty more to write about but I'm off got a bowl of Kava and relax. When I find some energy I'll pen a few more words......

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Vanuatu Part 4

Lovely Saturday.  Horse racing Island style. Annual Charity event. Everyone was out having a great day. Just seemed the whole Island had turned up. Complete families and just a great atmosphere. 6 races with 4-6 horses per race. But for the racing we have no idea who to bet on!

Don't suppose it matters that much. It was all for charity. Even the car park attendants, security etc were all working for free. So great atmosphere.

So a few racing photos and tried out some local foods. Kebaks and grilled fish and various root crops.   Live music.  Excellent day.

Vanuatu Part 3

Been a good week. Time does fly here, faster than anywhere I've been.  Work is OK and then evenings seems to disappear as fast as switching a light off.

However yesterday while driving along I saw small bus stop.  Talk about laid back ! If it moved over a bit more it would fall into the sea. I think is sums up island life here. Cool, relaxed and in no rush to go anywhere !!!!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Vanuatu Part 2

Weekend starts here today.  Will pop into the office this morning for a couple of hours to catch up on a few things. Then later this evening off for a Sri Lankan curry dinner feast. Then tomorrow heading for Mount McDonnald the highest point (647 meters) on Efate Island. By pickup truck of course, no walking or anything silly like that.  But first off this morning a bit of work. Got some design reviews and a visit to a quarry planned for this afternoon. I know hardly retirement BUT I DON"T CARE !!!  It's all good.

The curry dinner is at Club Hippique, which is owned by an Australian couple, She being of Sri Lankan extraction hence the style of dinner.

The place itself is a resort offering horse riding along beaches and up and down mountain tracks etc and various other  activities. Check it out. Club Hippique  Looks a lot of fun.

Fun evening getting underway

The jagged lines on the left are palms.....
Well we did not see the top of the mountain. But we did go up a step hill and got some amazing views.

Check out the slope on this road......

Next weekend we go to the horse racing on Saturday and Sunday/Monday  the island os Santo. So lots to see and do.

There is also a turtle breeding farm to visit.  not sure when we will manage that...

Friday, 5 August 2016

Vanuatu Part 1

Another blog post saying I’ve been lazy.  Well this time not so true! 

But time has flown by literally.  We retired on 31st May.  After 2 weeks I had a call from an old friend. “Do you fancy a job in Vanuatu? “. That’s New Hebrides to you older readers….!
“Sure” was the reply. “Where, When and for how long ?”.  The “Where" was simple, the “When” was ASAP and the “How long” was up to you. !!

Retirement had not really been so exciting sitting around strumming the guitar, motor bike trip and playing with bits and pieces etc and of course a few beers and good food on the Bar B Q. That was in first two weeks.  So perhaps to early to judge. But always one for a trip.
So what to loose? Pack up the house and jump on a plane.  The project is to build some small wharfs for inter-island shipping. These are spread over the islands so really a lot of fun travelling around. Each island is different.  All fully decked out for tourists and so good hotels etc etc.  And I get paid !!!  Real simple and fun engineering. And Vanuatu.  Not a bad stop at all.  I’ve been to plenty of worse place believe you me…..
People are lovely.  Everyone happy and seem to find it so easy to break into a big smile. Foods good, beers good, climate perfect. What to loose in deed.

View from our Condo

Going round the island the main road. No cars. 

Golf Club for Owen....

Port Vila Market


Quick web facts
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Hiking trails ascend active volcanoes such as Mt. Yasur. Other popular activities include rainforest ecotours, kayaking and deep-sea fishing, plus relaxing at resorts and spas.
    • Capital:Port Vila
    • Currency:Vanuatu vatu
    • Population:252,763 (2013)
So there you have it.  Surprisingly few sandy beached in Efate due in part to the volcanic activity.  We got woken up one night with the apartment shaking.  Only a couple of bumps but a very very strange feeling….
I’m told the some of the other islands have fantastic diving, in fact some of the best in the world, and am looking forward to a trip in a couple of weeks time. Might take in a dive. Relax and instead of working tell myself this is paid retirement !!  There is one beach called “Champagne beach” due to the bubbling from air esca[ing from the ground.  A must see next weekend

Short History of Vanuatu... Very interesting

More starting tomorrow....