After a week at Surunda Bay, during which Jill arrived, it was time to head into the channel to hopefully tie up to a buoy outside Aore Resort which is a mile across the channel from town. We’d had a wonderful time in Surunda. Hitched a ride up to Peterson Bay where Bossa, Easy and Aqualibrium were anchored, to have lunch with them at Turtle Cove resort. The meal wasn’t terrific but the company was. Another day, with Sans Souci & their crew Geoff, we hitched again to Lope Lope resort for lunch. Meal again was just ok but it was in a really nice setting. Run by an Australian who was a bit strange, but he gave us a lift back (courtesy bar waiter who asked him)! We had drinks ashore most nights. We had dugongs visit us most days. We had swims every day. It was hot.

dinner at Aore Resort

blue hole on our day trip from Luganville

poor crabs hanging around waiting to be cooked

So the day we decided to leave we got out fine and then the seas and winds picked up – to 30knots! So we pulled into Palikula Bay, where Mr Micawber was. Only thing is we didn’t have waypoints set in and there was lots of coral. So we dropped anchor in 20m, Dave rowed out to help us, and we put waypoints in, and with Dave’s help we got into a beautiful spot close to shore. Ron swam ashore, Jill and I went on the paddle board. Ron and I went for a walk to see if we could get to the ocean side, but it was taking too long and there were rats in the bushes! Had drinks on Mr Micawber.

Next day it looked calmer so we headed out early and around in lovely conditions and got tied up to a buoy. Ahhh. So relaxing being tied to a buoy that’s obviously well maintained. So for the next few days we alternated between getting a water taxi over to town for shopping, and going into the resort by dinghy for drinks/lunch/swim/snorkel/drinks/dinner. Going into town wasn’t much fun as it’s hot and dusty. We’d always end our expeditions at one of two cafes that either served nice coffee or had a cool breeze coming thru, couldn’t quite seem to get the two attributes together in the one place!!! The supermarket was good although a bit limited. Brie supplies quite limited! The bread wasn’t too bad. Can’t wait to get home, dreaming of stone fruit, mangoes, nice grainy or rye bread, avocadoes, tomatoes, lemons!!

I had some washing done at the diving place whose buoy we were hiring. I lost some and gained some, but managed to sort that out and got the right stuff back eventually! It was the first time in the whole trip that it got mucked up so not too bad.

Eleven of us hired a van and driver one day for a little tour of the east coast. We stopped at a blue lagoon. The deepest clearest freshwater ‘pool’ I’ve ever seen. A few little fish in it. The local community have done a great job with manicured gardens, a little café that served espresso and cake of the day, ‘change rooms’, proper loos! Cost $10 per person entry. It was lovely. Then we went to a couple of beaches, one with a famous seafood restaurant for lunch. Wish I’d had the local lobster, it looked great. Unfortunately I had prawns which weren’t terrific. Probably frozen. Swims and walks and that was our day out. Had a very rough ride across the channel in the water taxi!

My birthday was falling on the Thursday but it looked like we were leaving Friday so Thursday was going to be taken up with going into town to do customs clearance and last minute shopping. So I decided I would celebrate on the Wednesday!! Simple. So had a champagne breakfast and lounged around till about 3pm when we went ashore to the resort. I had a swim (lots of fish, little damsel fish come towards you in a threatening manner, so cute), and drinks, and serendipitously the resort was throwing a buffet and entertainment night. It was terrific! Ate on the beach at long tables. The food was fantastic, curries, salads, fish, meat. The entertainment was a group of locals dressed in native gear of course, drums, panpipes, young kids included. They sang happy birthday to me which was gorgeous!! The highlight for me was a group of women and girls who performed water slapping. I had read about this and forgotten about it so I was very happy to see a performance. It was fantastic. Then more music and some of the troop come and grab an audience member to get up and dance with them. It was lovely. Such a great night.

Unfortunately, it had a lingering effect as 3 of us had a tummy bug for the entire trip home. Just enough to make us uncomfortable but not really sick, although Tom was out of action for a day and Jill was a day later. Didn’t really hit me till 2 days after that.


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