Tag Archives: Abseiling

Our Trip to Vanuatu

This post is 2 weeks overdue but finally I managed to finish it 🙂

Finally when we landed in Vanuatu I felt really happy. As soon as we got out of the plane, I could feel the humid air against my face. I knew we were going to have a great holiday at this place.

The airport looked very rural. No big walls or modern equipments. Just open fields with a one story building. It was Christmas day but there were no decorations. We lined up to clear immigration and picked up our bags to go to our hotel.

We caught a taxi to our resort. We realised while in the taxi that we should have changed some money to Vatu as the taxi driver informed us that he won’t take Aussie dollars. When we had done our research we had found on the internet forums that Aussie dollar was good but it was different story there. We told the driver we would try to change our money at the resort.  So when we got to the resort a guy came to take our luggage and we asked him if we can change some money. He asked to give him the money and was backed in 5 minutes with the equivalent Vatu. The bad thing was the exchange rate seemed less than the official rate. We paid the taxi driver and checked in. It was when we were checking in that we were told the rate which made us realised that the guy who had seemed to help us change our money has cheated us a bit with a lower rate. Just 5 bucks in Aussie dollars but a lesson learned, never trust anyone easily. We later found he had exchanged the money in a nearby store and we got a better rate there.

When we reached our room I was really happy as it looked comfortable and clean. Lots of flowers were used to decorate the bed. Like any tropical place, it had tiled floor to help keep the room cool. We then relaxed, took a shower and went to explore the place. They seemed to have a nice restaurant, a bar and a beautiful pool. When we got back to our room we were hungry so we ordered room service. While we waited for our food, we watched TV. I was surprised to see many Australian channels available. I felt like I was still in Australia.

It took a while for room service to arrive but when it did it was really yummy. As it was already evening we decided to relax and plan our next few days. There were many brochures we had to go through to choose our activities but most of them seemed similar like island getaway with snorkelling and lunch. We thought it would be fun to start with a round island tour so we went to the reception to book our first tour.

Our tour, the Native round island tour, was supposed to be the next morning but due to a miscommunication between the reception and the tour organisers it was pushed to the next day so we went to the Hideaway Island instead. The place was only 20 minutes bus ride and 5 minutes ferry ride from our resort.

Once we were there I realised why everyone had advised us to take reef shoe with us. Thank god that we did. It was a beautiful island with beautiful blue water but the beach had very coarse rubbles washed out from sea along with death corals. It was near impossible to walk bare foot on the beach.  It was a warm day so I change and jumped into the water. It was just beautiful. This is the place where there is an underwater post office. We put our snorkelling gears on and swam with the fishes. We first started near the shore to get a hang of the waves and later were taken further in into the sea. It was really beautiful with so many colourful fishes.

Compared to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia I found that the corals were dead and brown but there were a high number of fishes and sea animals like sea cucumber starfish and sea-horse. I even got to hold a star fish in my own hands. Thanks to my waterproof camera we managed to take lots of beautiful underwater shots.

Our guide had a great trick to invite fishes. He had a bottle with fish food so when he dropped these food, the fishes came in large numbers to him giving us a great opportunity to take photos and allowing us to be so close to them.

Finally after having lunch at the island, we came back to our resort. We ordered room service again and enjoyed our dinner in front of the TV.

The next day we went for the Round Island tour  which goes around Port Villa to see different villages and their culture. It was a really informative tour as the guide was a native himself and was able to show us the real life in Vanuatu.

That evening we went to the town to have a wonderful dinner in a restaurant call Chill. I had lamb with some mashed potatoes while AS ordered chicken and vegetables. We finished off with a huge chocolate soufflé.

The next day was AS’s birthday which was really a good day for me. I surprised him with a cake in the morning during breakfast and then we went Abseiling. That evening we went and had a Melanesian dinner while the locals performed some traditional dances for us. It rained that night for the first time while we were there.

The day before we left, we went and did the helmet dive. It was a great experience to be with fish and sea creatures up close and personal. It was only for a couple of hours so the rest of the day we just relaxed, visited the local markets and had lots of fun.

Over all, this holiday was awesome. Will love to go back there one day 🙂

Click here for more photos.

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Abseiling

I am one of those people who are really nervous at heart but love the heart racing adventures. I am always scared when I try out different adventurous things but the adrenalin that comes with the adventure always wins over my fear.

I have a long bucket list of things I want to do like Sky diving, swimming with the dolphins, Bungee jumping, Everest base camp trekking to name just a few. I am glad one of the things was checked off while we were in Vanuatu, and that was Abseiling.

When I was researching things to do in Vanuatu, abseiling was one of the things that came up and we decided to do it. I am scared of heights, especially when I know that the only thing that is holding me is a piece rope but somehow I convinced myself that it was going to be fun so I must do it.

Abseiling is a sport that involves climbing down the front of a large rock or a tall building while holding onto a rope. In our case it was more exciting as we were abseiling down a waterfall. The day we were meant to go for abseiling I was a little scared and a little excited. We went to the Mele Cascades and met our guide. The place looked beautiful and I saw so many tourists just walking around the waterfall. The guide gave us some safety instructions and the equipment and helmet. Also, I signed my life away saying I am responsible if anything happened to me during this adventure. We were joined by 2 other couples for this adventure.

Their website says the following about abseiling:

Vanuatu waterfall abseiling Vanuatu is a unique opportunity to experience Vanuatu and the Mele Cascades from a different angle. Anybody can walk to the Mele Cascades Waterfall but why follow the beaten track when Edge offers you the chance to abseil from the top of the Mele Cascades in the amazing rainforests of Vanuatu. While on tour with us you will have majestic views of the island only seen by those who dare to experience the adventure Vanuatu has to offer.

This award winning tour will see you abseil 50 metres down the Mele Cascade waterfall in two 25 metre pitches. You will receive encouragement and one on one instruction from our friendly instructors at the 8 metre practice cliff. After the abseil you are guided through the stunningly beautiful Mele Cascades, so you will see the whole thing from Top to Bottom.

So I was quite excited to start the adventure. But no one mentioned to me in trip advisor that there was almost a half hour long intense hike before we reach the place to start the abseiling. It was a hot and humid day so when we finished our hike all of us were sweaty, hot and tired. Thankfully there was water available on top of the hill for us to drink. The view from the top was amazing as well. There were 4 more people waiting for us at the waterfall. They helped us put on all the harness and show us how things work.

First we did a practice session on an 8m cliff where we were shown how to take control of our decent. It was really good as it gave me confidence to do the real one. They even let us do the practice session twice so that I could practice how to use my hands to control my decent with the rope.

When we were at the top of the falls for the real decent, I looked down and for a second I wanted to back out. I realised then that 50m is really high but I had no choice but to go for the descent. It was not very difficult as I was able to guide my descent with my hand on the rope behind my back so I could get a good position with one leg before I made a move with my other leg. It was really fun and amazing. The water was flowing down from the top as I went down and it was sometimes hard to open the eyes but every minute was such a great adventure. When I got to the bottom of the falls I thought that the first leg was over and was excitedly waiting for more. Imagine my reaction when AS told me that, that was it. I really wanted to do more J

On the way back we walked past the beautiful waterfall where people were swimming and cooling off. Once we reached the bottom, our guide brought us some fruits and juice and we had some while watching our photos which he and his team had taken.

Overall, very beautiful and fun experience. Click here for some photos.

Happy Birthday AS!

It was AS’s birthday on December 28. As we were on holiday, I didn’t know what to do for his birthday. Before we left for the  holiday, I had contacted the resort we were staying in Vanuatu and asked them if they could bake a cake for me. I was happy when they emailed me back confirming that they could. I tried my best to make it a secret until his birthday. It was really hard to get away from him to talk to the staff there. I also hid his card and gifts in my suitcase. I am so glad he didn’t find them until his birthday.

On the morning of the 28th, I couldn’t sleep as there were thousands of things in my mind. I woke up at 5 am and started planning for his surprise birthday. As we had booked to go for Abseiling at 9am, I needed to execute my plan before 9 am. So I went to talk to the staff to plan everything while AS was still in bed.

As normal, we went to the resort’s restaurant for breakfast. He ordered a big breakfast and I ordered a continental breakfast with fruits. I had instructed the staff to get the cake before we had our breakfast. We were seated by the pool and there were a few  other tables with holiday makers having their breakfast.

I was facing the walk way and AS has his back to it. So when the waiter came with the cake, he didn’t see it at first. I started singing the “Happy Birthday” song and AS thought it was someone else’s birthday so he started singing as well before he turned around and saw the cake and realised that the cake was for him. In the mean time everyone else at the other tables started singing Happy Birthday for him.

I really liked the surprised look on his face after seeing the cake. It was his favourite flavour, double chocolate mud cake. I couldn’t get one any smaller but I was really glad to see it turn out so good. It was just perfect. Then he made a wish and cut the cake. One of the guests was really nice and offered to take some photos of the both of us.

Then it was time to open his gifts. I got him a card, an android tablet and a UFC trainer game for his XBOX. I knew he wanted them so I am glad that he liked them all. He had this big grin on his face that made me really happy.

Then we had our breakfast and went for Abseiling (I will write about this later when I am back in Sydney). It was one of the most fun things we did in Vanuatu.

We came back to the resort to change and were off to the Melanesian dinner (local Vanuatu style dinner with cultural dance show). We really enjoyed the food and dance.

It was a perfect celebration for AS. I was really happy that he enjoyed his day so much.

Vanuatu here we come

One of the main reasons I love Christmas time is that we get time off from work. Normally I take my annul leave and go for a long holiday some where. For the last 6 years, I made sure that I was not in Sydney, if not in Australia at this time of the year. 

This year both me and AS have ten days off so we decided it was time to have one more stamp on our passports. After looking for reasonable deals for months, finally we found a deal within our budget so we will be going to Vanuatu during our year end break. 

Vanuatu is an island country in the Pacific which is three and a half hours flight from Sydney. It has 83 islands so we expect to have a great tropical holiday. They seem to have lots of activates like Abseiling, Parasailing, Semi Submarine, Cruises and much more. It also has the world’s most active and accessible volcano, Mt Yasur, and the world’s largest shore wreck dive the President Coolidge located just off the shore of Espirito Santo. 

So flights and hotels have been booked. Visa has been arranged and bags are packed. I got our snorkelling gears, swimmers, towels, summer dress and the all important sun screen lotion. I am really excited as I have wanted to go there for years. Finally, we are going. Hopefully the weather will be sunny and nice and not too hot. 

I have been looking at Trip Advisors for activities. There seems so many good things so I can’t wait to dive in the water and start having fun. One of the things I want to do is the Ocean Walker, if things work out according to plan. I have already done something similar in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and it is one of the easiest ways to be up close and personal with marine life. Ohoo! thinking about all the fun we are going to have is making me giddy already. Can’t wait to get on that plane  🙂

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!