Godzilla, tequila and Port Vila with Sheila
Don't try to make sense out of the title, because it’s not up there to make sense. It’s there for a title purposes only. And because Vila rhymes with Godzilla and tequila. And because making sense is not a priority when you decide to write a post at 3 a.m. It is about Port Vila though. The capital city of Vanuatu. While I was there, my Croatian friends messaged me if Vanuatu was something to eat. Vanuatuan people asked me the same question about Croatia when I said where I was from. I guess, Croatia could be easily mistaken for some kind of delicious Russian kasha or vatrushka and Vanuatu could be easily camouflaged as foie gras vanuatu with mustard seeds and green onions in duck jus. Bon Appetit.
Port Vila was my home-base for flying in and out of Pentecost, Tanna and Australia. The place to stock up on goodies, heal my sunburn and catch up on sleep after some days of roughing it.
Even though there is plenty of touristic stuff one can do around Port Vila and Efate Island, I went on my own adventure that cost nothing, but it usually guarantees satisfying level of freedom and happiness.
I sat on the beach and admired Iririki Island just across Port Vila city. (For all the love birds - sunsets are pretty epic here.)
I hitchhiked to the blue freshwater swimming hole that was just stunning! Just imagine crystal clear water with different shades of blue depending on depth. Wait, you don’t have to imagine it, because I snapped few pics of it.
Vanuatu has been voted twice as the happiest country in the world...and it's showing on every step.
On Sundays, women wear an “island dress” for church and celebrations and they all look pretty.
While wandering around, I came across the family who was preparing taro for cooking laplap which is a national dish in Vanuatu.
Big banyan trees are often used as a sun protection while cooking tasty dishes for the community. Yes, that's a small kitchen/restaurant under the tree.
I came across this sign that was just calling for taking a quick sneak peek. 🙂
To be honest, I expected less dancing and more touching from the “healing touch”...or at least dancing to "I Touch Myself". 🙂
Port Vila has a great veggie and fruit market with delicious and inexpensive food stands at the back. Needless to say, I ate almost every meal there. D E L I C I O U S!
In low income countries, the number of blood donations is only 4 donations per 1000 people, so I figured it would be a good idea to leave some of my red juice in Port Vila.
These kick ass ladies picked me up while I was hitchhiking out of Port Vila and around Efate Island. They were heading home and offered to take me few kilometers, but somewhere along the way they decided not to go home, but to have a kick ass afternoon with me. We went to a Blue Hole together, to a kava bar, we made a little picnic on the back of the pickup truck and then they drove me ALL the way back to Port Vila. What a great afternoon that was!
Annette took me to a local kava bar and taught me how to drink it. Kava looks like dirty water and it tastes as bad as it looks. The key is to drink it on empty stomach to avoid feeling sick or throwing up. Annette said it was the best to be at peace and in nature while drinking kava, so we walked behind the bar and faced the trees and green garden while drinking it. A full moon was out that night and it only added more magic to my 1st kava drinking experience! There is no better word to describe the taste than disgusting, but the effect of kava is what everyone is going for, and definitely not the taste. So, how did it feel? My mouth and jaw got numb as if I had just been to a dentist. Few minutes later I felt very calm and relaxed. Locals sometimes go for 8 to 9 cups. That amount of kava would get anyone properly stoned. No wonder Vanuatu has been voted the happiest country in the world - TWICE! 🙂
(If interested, you can read more about kava on my post from Tanna Island.)
Local kava bar where all the magic happens...
After drinking kava, we made a little picnic on the back of the pickup truck and it was D E L I C I O U S !!! You could have guessed by now that my side was on the left. Cooked bananas with a coconut milk, amazing cassava and veggies with yam. All vegan and delicious!
This is the cover of Vanuatu’s daily newspaper on my last day of visit. In short, 14 members of parliament got jailed (I’m not quite sure why), so the chiefs who were representing them brought 14 pigs to the MNCC President to free the men from prison. The president refused to do it and returned the pigs back to the chiefs and that was why the story made the headline. As strange as it sounds, pigs, particularly those with rounded tusks, are considered a symbol of wealth throughout Vanuatu.
Read more Vanuatu stories on the links below: