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Tanna: We Came for the BBQ! Previous Log
Date: 15 July 2008 Next Log
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Electric Circus, Vanuatu-style - This ain't no Macarena!My Only Travel Tip: Forget every travel tip you've ever been given, including this one.

I keep trying to sit down and describe this final stop in the Pacific Ocean before sailing to Australia, but the moment I try to write about it, I erase it all and try to start again.

Young VanuatuanSo I'll start again.

Up until 5 months ago, I had never even heard of the country of Vanuatu. I hadn't heard of the tiny island of Tanna in its southern waters either until we set our course to it!

It became one of those very rare places while traveling when you arrive with absolutely no expectations, no travel advice, and not one single idea of what you might encounter.

Making FireOne moment, we were battling the fury of an angry ocean, surrounded by nothing but frothing water and crashing waves, and the next, sliding into a mysterious bay overlooked by frond huts, on a tiny South Seas island dominated by tropical jungle and a rumbling, smoking volcano.

I hesitate to write any more and just let the photos tell the story. I hate the thought of building up another traveler's expectations about the place.

Playing the PipesI want to describe drinking kava (a mild intoxicant made from a native plant root) in the nakamal under a full moon, walking barefoot along the jungle trails in the middle of the night with our new friends while carrying smoldering sticks as torches, entering primitive villages and exchanging gifts with the chief (receiving namely feathers, vegetables and piglets), or playing soccer with a bunch of shrieking kids on a black volcanic sand beach.. but instead I'll just wait til the stories pour out over a pint of beer back at home one day!

School's out!That said, describing the stories themselves is the easy part. Describing the feeling you get when you think you've discovered paradise on earth is another thing altogether, especially where and when you never expected to find it.

We came for the BBQ... then let the adventure all unfold before our eyes.

- Written while sailing west from Vanuatu towards Australia, on this final 1000 mile stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Photos by Cody Reed, except spider and volcano photos (taken by yours truly)

Just Shooting the Breeze
Another Young Vanuatuan
Chillin' like Villans
Mostly Harmless
The Feast!
Everyone and their dog showed up..
Cue the band and dancers!
Wave your hands in the air.. you just don't care!
The Groove Armada
Then the Chief showered us with gifts..
..made by all the village families.
Big smiles all 'round
Teaching the kids how to make annoying sounds with blades of grass..
(much to the parents' chagrin)
By George, I think they've got it!
Zach, Clive and Lyell
The women prepared the feast.
(while us manly men went to the nakamal to get wasted on kava)
Tonight's main course: Pig.
Is there a chicken or fish option?
Paradise is very nice.
Vanuatu Canoe
One Smokin' Tiki!
Welcome to the Hood
World's Awesomest Treehouse
Tree-hugging Hippie
Don't bother asking for directions.
As close to an active volcano as you could wish to be.
Try to set the night on.. FIRE!
The Gooey Kablooey.
MORE Gooey Kablooey.
Leaving Vanuatu
A Mahi in Every Pot!
:: Inukshuk ::

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