Port Vila, Efate
Sun 14 Sep 2014 01:08
So nice to creep into the anchorage in Port Vila with Hebe's rig intact. Tired and woozy from bouncing all night on a trampoline. Harry and Imo were airborne at times in the forepeak.
On arrival Andrew and I sped off to Port Vila's proper supermarket, Bon Marche, for sorely missed essentials; Gordon's Gin, Lindt chocolate, fresh coffee and tea. (get your priorities right-Ed)
Andrew ecstatic about chocolate find. Bon Marche is awesome.
Port Vila is a fascinating place…commerce dominated by the Chinese, you could be in a dusty backwater of Kowloon. Tacky souvenir shops - Made in China. Woo Yong's Hardware selling dusty cool boxes and pangas. The roads are pot holed with an endless queue of taxis and the shop windows undressed and depressing - but there is the most wonderful, wonderful market.
Of all the markets we have loved, this one is right up there with the best. Piles of every kind of exotic fruit and vegetable and enormous bunches of greens, bags of red chillies and bunches of herbs. So colourful and shiny.
…..all this delicious lot cost a fraction of our 'essentials'.
We ate a bunch of weird greens this evening….the leaves looked like marihuana and tasted like spinach but gooey when sliced…Andrew is now tripping out on Pink Floyd, God knows what we ate.
This amazing market is open every day and the women who serve seem to live there, sleeping on mats, nursing their babies and eating. The floor is littered with huge palm woven baskets full of such a variety of strange vegetables, star fruits, pomellos, extraordinary shapes and sizes of bananas and coconuts. Then there are buckets of tropical flowers in vivid flame colours. Everything cheap as chips. We're going to enjoy this.
What are these?
Hebe's new corset has been ordered and shouldn't take too long to FedEx from home (thanks Haig)….but you still have to add the V factor…. Vanuatu customs or getting mislaid in a corner of the airport or some 'official' using it as a seat. I expect we shall have to scour the airport customs shed.
Meanwhile there's wrecks and reefs to dive and gastronomic delights to sample….Chinese Takeaway, Indian Curry Houses and the French patisserie. I will do well here.
Every other place on the High Street seems to be a Thai Massage Parlour, must get Andrew along for his wonky back.
The dichotomy of the market alongside Computer Stores and 21st century technology in a country where most islands have no electricity.
It amuses me to see the Tourist agencies here advertising Eco Tours to attract the eager western traveller. The outer islands have no choice but to be 'Eco', they don't have electricity and charge their mobiles with solar panels out of necessity. We saw one tour bus strangely named..Bog Tours and Travel - oh dear.