Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Millenium Cave and normal life

The anchorage at Loltang Bay, Pentecost

A few weeks ago, I felt like I was done with cruising. It was hotter than hell, our usual breeze had deserted us, and swarms of flies had descended upon us. Tempers were short. My rope burns were still oozing and I had gotten a secondary skin infection that wouldn't go away. It was truly miserable.

Face 'paint' (mud) on the cave tour
A few days later, the flies flew away and the breeze came back. Life was good again. What a difference a day or two makes.
We have spent more time in Vanuatu than many other countries, but there are so many islands that we have sped through many of them. Even though we spend much more time in places than most tourists, we are still tourists. The other day on the Millenium Cave Tour, we met Cole and Caroline, a nice young couple working for the Peace Corps in Luganville. They have been in Vanuatu for almost two years and speak fluent Bislama. They were able to have real conversations with the Ni-Vans we met on the tour. They have enjoyed depth where we have just skimmed the surface. We're okay with that--it's just a different experience.

The cave tour itself was a lot of fun. We trekked through the forest, climbed up and down steep hills using handholds and ladders, scrambled over boulders, climbed and waded through huge cave, and floated down a stream through a steep canyon.  Along with the volcanoes, this adventure sent Vanuatu towards the top of the list of favorite places for Conrad.

We had spent a few days in Ratua and visited the blue hole at Malo. We returned to Luganville and were pleasantly surprised to find out that the package my parents sent from the States had arrived with the parts for our leaky freezer pump (Matt had put in our spare water pump temporarily). Matt was able to put the new seal in our freezer pump. It was still leaking when Matt put water into it, so he put some sealant on it, which seems to have done the trick.

The kids have been enjoying time with their friends on Field Trip and Rehua.

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