Our last stop on the cruise was a fair bit of a let down. I mean we still had a great day, but I can't say Vila is one of the nicest places I have ever visited. As soon as we got off the boat we could tell this stop was going to be a lot different to the other beautiful places we had visited. When we hopped off the boat instead of being greeted by sandy white shores and tropical paradise we were confronted with concrete and clouds. Luke and I had booked a snorkel tour for Vila so we had a couple of hours to kill with our friends. We decided to spend this time at the markets which were just outside the this fence. Although once we got to the fence we spent the majority of our time and energy telling taxi drivers that we did not want to go anywhere and that we just wanted to look at the markets, rather then actually being able to enjoy the markets.
It was very humid and it was also raining at the time. It was fun walking around the markets for a while, but then it just started being the same items in different places. It was all just a bit much. Especially considering half of these things I had seen in Thailand, although here they had changed the wording to say "Vanuatu" more often then not in permanent marker. Very authentic.
Surprisingly people actually bought these bow and arrows and were allowed to take them in to Australia. And yet I am technically not allowed to bring home coral?
And I wasn't allowed to bring home Kava either. I really wanted to try Kava but nobody else in the group was game/ in the mood and in the end I just didn't get a chance.
I have to admit I did buy one of those fake shark tooth necklaces above. I have no real excuse except for the fact that I think they are really cool.
. Find souvenirs
For some reason these creepy (not sure if racist) baby dolls were everywhere. I don't know about you, but I put them on par with clowns for inducing nightmares.
When it came time for Luke and I to go on our tour we split up from the group and went back to the boat. The others went duty free shopping in town because we had been told it is really good in Vila.
. Talk to a local
We got dropped off with a group of people to a random wharf in town. This was a tiny car I saw on the way. The boat ride was absolutely freezing. And Luke and I were so close to not going snorkelling considering how cold we were. But when we got to the location we decided we had to do it. This was the last chance we had to snorkel on this trip.
And we were not disappointed.
This was a beautiful snorkelling location. They were feeding the fish around us, and gave us bread to play with the fish. I was back where I belonged. My hair even blended with the water now.
Just posing with some fish.
Will never get over how funny fish faces are.
Just after this photo was taken I looked up at Luke making wild gestures and he was doing the same to me. I wasn't even thinking I just swam straight over to him.
"Did you see the snake!!!"
Just underneath the photo was a stunning black and white sea snake. I went back to try and see it again but I couldn't find it. Which freaked me out until I found out that they aren't dangerous from the tour guide. But I still haven't checked up on the facts. Who knows they could actually be crazy deadly. But that is for another day on Google.
Luke had left me at this point because his knee was sore which was fair. I didn't mind. It just gave me a chance to relax and swim around with all the fish.
I feel like the photos above are me basically leading my army of fish to wreak havoc on the world.
I adventured pretty far from the group and found some amazing coral. I even found some Clown fish who I can't even tell you how long I spent watching. They were so entertaining. I literally spent a lifetime floating above them watching them rub up against the anemone. And on top of this there were these black fish everywhere, they kind of looked like goldfish. They were the funniest things. They would stare at you when you swim by and then randomly swim away really fast. Imagine 12 black fish all in different places around you just staring at you. I was dying. I was actually laughing out loud in to my snorkel. I don't have any photos of these fish but I have some great video footage. Hopefully I will sort my shit out and put some footage together real soon.
. See clown fish
I eventually went back to the group and practiced diving as far down as I could for a while. Ended up getting heaps of water in my ear that I was still trying to get out later that night.
Tropical Island Mermaid Princess
. Snorkel in Vanuatu
I don't know if you can see them, but if you can look really hard you can see a couple of the black fish I was talking about, looking at the camera.
The ocean will forever leave me speechless and give me goosebumps. It is just so entirely different everywhere you go, and yet the same. It's a whole other world that we are so blissfully ignorant of. I will forever be in complete awe of the absolute wonder that is just below the surface.
. Duty free shopping
I was eventually dragged out of my happy place and put back on the boat (not physically). We headed back to the ship, showered and met everyone for lunch. The other's were all pretty exhausted and let down. Vila was extremely below everyone's expectations. Luke and I wanted to check out the duty free shopping so we headed back on to the Island. And talked a cab driver out of swindling us. We got half the price he was trying to charge us. I bought a bottle of Pimm's and Luke bought me my favourite perfume "Oh Lola" by Marc Jacobs as an anniversary present. We pretty much went back to the ship right after shopping and spent the rest of the afternoon playing ping pong and mini golf because we couldn't find the others. We eventually met up with them again for dinner and had another great night in fantastic company.