November 6, 2015
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Lots of photos today, we took a full day tour! We had a lovely tour-guild who was a native from Port Vila, but spoke beautiful English. She explained local customs, local history and showed us many sights. The first place we visited was a Chocolate factory. We were the factory’s first tour, and they were still working out some issues. They make chocolate from beans grown in the local islands, so I thought this would be a great place to get gifts for family – but they wanted $75 for three little chocolate bars! I think they were confused about the rate of exchange.
The Chocolate Factory – such tropical and lush grounds! It looked like a resort!
The owner of the factory. He explained the chocolate-making process to us. The green ‘room’ behind him is actually a shipping container. He explained that he purchased a large piece of equipment that was shipped to him in it – they couldn’t figure out how to get it out of the container and delivered to his factory, so they required he purchase the container – so he did…and now he uses it as a processing room. He said he had to take the machine apart to move it to where he needed it to be
Cocoa beans – in the raw
He handed us the beans and explained they will be roasted next. They smelled like chocolate!
Adam in front of the factory.
Next we visited a botanical garden. They had lovely grounds, and a lovely river ran through the property. It was a peaceful place to visit and take in the lush green sights.
Next was a visit to a native village. They had many demonstrations for us. They explained their survival tools and skills, and how they had survived the recent typhoon.
This is how we were greeted. The demonstrated how the could silently hide in the foliage and defend anyone who might threaten their village.
This fellow was preparing to do a fire-walk
They have large spiders all around the plants – they called them ‘friendly spiders’ because they are non-poisonous.
They performed a traditional dance for us.
Banyan tree – source of protection and shelter in bad weather.
They eat these berries – they let us taste them – they tasted sort of like potatoes.
They wrap sap in these leaves for medicinal purposes
He is explaining how they put the food in the ground and slow-bake it to preserve it
The last stop was to a beach area, where we had lunch. The beach was made entirely of coral pieces. The area around the beach was evidence of the typhoon that had destroyed thousands of trees on the island.
Some of the destroyed trees
Coral on the beach
It was a beautiful cove
Adam looking handsome at the coral cove
The picnic tables where we had lunch. A dog wandered over to us and we shared our sandwich with him.
My guy again =)
More storm damage
Me and my crazy hair
I know it is foggy – but i like the picture!
After lunch we headed back to the ship – we were on the opposite side of the island so it took some time to get back. Before she dropped us off at the dock, she stopped at a duty-free shop for some shopping, but we didn’t find anything we were interested in.
Back to the ship, where more merchants were awaiting us.
On to the next port!