Staying with the Mayor of Tanna Island


When hitchhiking from the White Sands Village to the island capitol Lenakel, I explained the driver my way of traveling and he suggested that we should ask the chief of the Island if I could stay the next night with him. He drove all the way up to his house and asked in his language if this would be okay, and next thing the chief gave me a thumbs up and showed me into the city council where he said I could spend the night. The roof and windows of the building had been damaged by the cyclone, letting in dust from the dry ground outside. My sleeping bag did not make the tiled floor more comfortable to sleep on, but at least the place was safe and dry.

The town itself had not much to offer, except a market and a couple of blue holes. Prices for food here is absolutely crazy, with a kilo of potatoes costing 10 dollars and carrots about twice that price. The dry season had now lasted six months instead of the usual three months and the ground was all dried out. People covered their faces as cars drove by as the cloud of fine dust was usually hanging in the air for a long time afterwards.

The coral was a bit more intact on this side of the island and two blue holes provided good some good snorkeling, but even the fun of those run out pretty quickly and the rest of my stay was just sitting at the black sandy beach waiting for time to pass. When I finally got to the airport I was told that my flight was booked for the next day- how could I have missed that?? I though to myself that I could not stand another day here and right then there was a pilot behind me telling me that he would take off with his four seater in just a few minutes. Having negotiated a reasonable price with him it was just to jump in on a really shaky propeller plane flight back to Port Vila.

 

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