Around the World in 106 Days with Ray & Claire!! Part 26 – Vanuata. Pedro Fernandes de Queiros was the first European explorer here in 1605 travelling on behalf of the Spanish Crown.
Around the World in 106 Days with
Ray & Claire!!
Part 26 – Vanuata
Pedro Fernandes de Queiros was the first European explorer here in 1605
travelling on behalf of the Spanish Crown.
The Population of Port Vila (where we docked) is currently 40,000 whilst the total population of Vanuatu is about 250.000.
The first Christian missionary on the scene was the Rev John Williams from the London Missionary Society. In 1839, he stepped ashore on Erromango - and was promptly eaten!
With the discovery of sandalwood in the 1880’s, both the French and the British became extremely interested in the islands making up Vanuaru and led to England and France both laying claims on the island group
In 1906, they agreed on a framework of jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides
(so named by Captain Cook in 1774)
An this was referred to as the
In 1980, amidst the brief Coconut War, the Republic of Vanuatu was created
In terms of natural resources there is not really a lot here and, although there has been some mining for manganese in the past, this ceased a long time ago and tourism is getting more and more important.
Port Vila general view, the bay in the background is where we docked
...as you can see, the actual town of Port|Vilais a little stretched out
Hey Ray, these guys are great - do you think you could get them to join our Black Watch Show Group?!
At the gates to the port area we were greeted by
a local welcoming committee playing instruments
Hurry up you two – the mini bus is waiting to take you to the Cultural village at Ekasup!
The new Parliament Building is close to the waterfront and is a contrast to the old colonial houses nearby
And here is the Town’s Post Office – complete with ATM machine
(very convenient for using the HEC company card for withdrawing cash.....but don’t tell Rozz!!)
There is a wonderful furitmarket in Port Vila – which wasn’t of much use to us we are not allowed to take any local produce back on board the Black Watch
(it didn’t stop us tasting a few bits and pieces, however)
As you can see in this part of the world, there are some very good graffiti artists around
There was a chance to look around at Mama’s Arts and Crafts market on the way for some local handicraft and souvenirs, but we “unfortunately” didn’t have enough time as we were on our way to see and enjoy the Cultural Village.
EkasupVillage (funded by the French and tourism) has been voted the best tourist attraction in the country several years running with the locals dressed in their traditional dress and demonstrating the ways and lifestyles of ancient Melanesia
Looks like a pretty dangerous place to me! These head-hunters look serious
Oh come on you coward – I found quite a friendly one just now
She's my heroine!
The villagers showed us some of the ways that they used (and still do today to a certain extent) to hunt for animals and fish
The “cage” on the left is used to catch chickens and smaller animals
Coconut is left inside the cage (like a normal mouse trap) the animal triggers the frame to drop around its body – but this time, without harming the animal which can carry on eating the food and get fatter before being consigned to the cooking pot
They catch their bait by collecting spider webs and swishing them around a triangular shaped stick.
They then swish the sticky web in rock pools around the waters edge to catch the very small fish which are attached to the stickiness of the webs
They use lobster pots (similar in shape to our modern ones)
a pole with layers of fresh vines which have been frayed.
This fraying releases the juice from inside the vine and when the stick is swished around in a pool, it extracts the oxygen from the pool and the fish just float to the surface
(Algars please note for future use!!)
The villagers also showed us some of the traditional medicines and remedies used by the tribe
Red coleus (if that is how you spell it?) plant provides juice which is similar to that used in iron tablets.
The green coleus juice is used as an antiseptic etc
We were also shown some of their handicrafts and cooking
Grating banana and drying it for future use in years to come
A 200-300 year old Banyan tree that was large enough to get most of the village inside in case of a typhoon
We were then entertained to some dancing in time to their local “band”
A very realistic piano using partly filled bottles
Don't worry – I’m only looking!
Did you see the size of those vanilla pods?
Fred & Suscha
Yes I see what you mean Claire – some of the locals are friendly when you get to know them
What a lovely place to have a house!
And the sea is just on the doorstep
Perhaps we should think about moving from UK?
But meanwhile, our ship awaits us
So it is once more its time to Buckle up – and enjoy some entertainment at sea.....
...before arriving at out next port of call
Which will be