After four hours of sleep, we hit the road for another flight to Malekula Island.
Arriving at the airport on domestic flights, we checked in and went to have breakfast in a “shack” inside the airport, where the two girls who were working there did their best to serve the best cappuccino in Vanuatu. The problem is that for this, it took about 10 minutes per coffee! Machine coffee with whole milk, almost like cream, where they made cream, which they placed on top of the coffee with milk very carefully and on top they made drawings with liquid chocolate. 10 minutes for each cup!! But they were very proud of the work they were doing! We also brought two chocolate muffins and I gave half of mine to some boys at the airport gate. They were super happy and shared among themselves, getting their mouths full of chocolate!
When it was time to board, just open a door, we passed a rotten plywood counter, we showed the boarding pass and ok! Come on! No one inspects handbags or takes us to the plane… Calm down, it wasn’t a plane, it was a plane where 6 people were going inside, plus two captains who were driving the 60’s plane with propellers!
There they were given authorization and not even 5 minutes after we had shown the boarding pass at the plywood counter, we were already in the air.
The islands are extremely green and Efate, the island of Port-Vila, is huge. We still saw a waterfall from the air and off we went towards the north.
After 30 minutes just watching the sea (and I was cold inside) we started to see islands spread across the ocean and that’s when we saw a giant island, which for 20 minutes we only saw jungle untouched by man. When we got to the north side, we started to see coconut trees and little construction. The plane swung around to make it to the runway, and the runway was nothing less than a narrow bit of tar, tossed onto grass. But we hadn’t seen Norsup’s “mega airport” yet!!! Well, there are no words to describe this “airport”! Yes, in quotes!! Because there was nothing in the airport! They are the ruins of 2 houses measuring 4 square meters each, still in brick and cement, a shack that serves as a bathroom. One of the houses was a restaurant that someone thought shouldn’t be and set the whole thing on fire! See the photos that are more exemplary!
Here everything is VERY relaxed… There are no hours for anything, people rest in the trees and they are all one big family where everyone knows each other. We were waiting for someone from our hotel to pick us up and a girl from Washington DC who works here teaching English offered to call the hotel. No one answered and she left, heavily laden, full of bags with wine, eggs and cheese, which she brought from Port-Vila where she had gone to the super market because in Malekula there are no such luxuries. After 3 minutes, here she comes back because the so-and-so from the hotel had called back and she came back with her bags so we could talk to our hotel. There we said we were already waiting and they said they were going to pick us up.
The girl left and suddenly a pick-up truck arrives and from inside a man speaks with an arm sticking out:
“Diogo? This call is for you!” There we arrived at the front and he said that the hotel called him to come pick us up. He said he was going to drop his family off in the center of Norsup and that in 20 minutes he would come to pick us up… PEACEFUL! We have time!! Lol!!!
There he went, leaving us in the middle of the ruins called the airport, with 3 more men sleeping, literally, in the shade of the banana tree!!
After 35 minutes he returns and brings us in the back of the pick-up along dirt roads full of potholes while we pass by local people always with smiles on their lips, saying goodbye and laughing happily.
Our guide to the hotel told us that he was a Christian, married and with a 2.5 year old son. That now there were no cannibals and that Christianity contributed a lot to that. We were asking questions and we realized that he is a Protestant and not a Christian, he said he didn’t believe in saints, only in God. He told us a few things about the island and took us to see a fabulous view from the top of a mountain. We took the usual photo with him and came to the hotel.
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, right on top of the sea, we have a wonderful view and once again the only thing we hear is the noise of birds and the lapping of waves on the rocks of the small slope where the hotel is located. The construction is traditional, made of flat, dried bamboo reeds with steep gabled roofs. Very low houses with little infrastructure. She’s the owner of the hotel who cooks for us. We’ve already gone snorkelling hoping to see dugongs…
- hard bed
- shared bathroom
- a little far from everything
- calm and relaxed environment
- a huge sea just for us
- no tourists or noises
- we are very close to the traditional tribes
- traditional food