Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waterfall in Vanuatu

If you are needing a vacation from the photos of my vacation, you might want to skip this post. I understand, I do.

While Matt and I were staying in Port Vila, Vanuatu, one day we went to the Mele-Maat Cascades. We didn't know what to expect, but I thought it might be something like this.

Which is what I'd promised you guys. I swear that Matt did purchase that shirt (I'm sure you'll be seeing it.)

But it was so much better than that. A guide showed us the way to walk through a beautiful jungle, up to the falls. We saw wild ginger.

Wild Ginger in Vanuatu

And breadfruit.
Breadfruit in Vanuatu

You could never go hungry in this place, as long as you like breadfruit. It is everywhere. Combine it with coconut, and wonderful things happen. Our guide said that the falls are owned by his village, the Mele people. We asked how many people lived there, and he said over four thousand. We were like, "Whoa, we wouldn't call that a village, we'd call that a town." He said that they're one village because they have their own chief and their own dialect, so that makes them a village. According to him, only the capital qualifies as a "town," and a city is somewhere like Sydney.

At Mele-Maat Cascades

On the Way to the Top

I took this along the trail up to the falls. I swear, the place really looks like this, like part of a ride at Disney World. Every place we went kind of messed with my mind this way. Matt and I were discussing the way that, when you've spent your whole life seeing copies of a place--like every restaurant, theme park, or Disney tableau that is trying to look like the South Pacific--when you actually go to the real place, you can't believe it really looks like that, that you're really there. And it reminds you of every copy you've ever seen. But about one thousand times better.

Base of the Falls
At the base of the falls, there were ropes you could hold onto to climb up to the splash pools. When we got to this point, we were giddy, like kids. To get to be in that scenery, and to swim in the water and look up at the falls, which were so different from any falls I've ever seen, was totally magical. One of the best things I've ever done, or seen, or experienced on any trip.

Mele-Maat Cascades

See the creepy face in the cliff? And here we are, not quite the so, so romantique picnic couple, but having a blast.

Matt and Me

The water felt wonderful. I didn't bring my camera up this far, but some cheeful Australians snapped this of us with their waterproof camera. Pretty much anywhere you go in that part of the world, there are some cheerful Australians right close by. Just look around when you need them. These particular cheerful Aussies actually followed through and emailed us the pics they took of us after they got home to Wagga Wagga. (Or I think it was Wagga Wagga.) Nice folks.

This has been another postcard from Vanuatu. If you haven't already, and you get a chance to go swim in a waterfall, any waterfall anywhere, please do so at your earliest convenience.


Amy said...

WOW--those are stunning pics. I know what you mean about the Disney thing. I have thought that before, like, "it can't really be this beautiful in REAL life."

Oh, how I wish we could've gone with y'all! Vanuatu is now firmly on our list of places to see.

gretchen said...

Oh God, I'm so jealous I could spit! I'm about to go on "vacation"- two weeks in my mother-in-laws den in the suburbs. Vanuatu looks absolutely idyllic. I'm very depressed now. I think I need a glass of wine.

Kate said...

seriously jealous. we never travel far from the mid-atlantic.

Ginny Marie said...

We dragged the kids to waterfalls all over the UP in Michigan, but they were nothing like that! You have some awesome pictures! It looks like paradise!

The Dental Maven said...

Actually? I think it's "Wagga Wagga."

Michele said...

Those are stunning!

My mom went tramping in NZ about 10 years ago and she said that all the people were very nice and helpful.

Bex said...

that is gorgeous. it is now on my list of places i must visit before i die.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Jealous does not even begin to describe my emotions. I hope you won't be too jealous, but I am planning to visit the waterfall at Great Wolf Lodge. I know, try to contain yourself. I love all the pictures you've posted from your adventure!

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely again. I'm sure I said that about the last lot of pics.

Thank heavens for cheerful Australians.

Sara said...

I love that creepy face! Love everything and probably couldn't get tired of the photos.
I think I'd feel like I couldn't possibly absorb how beautiful and magical it all is!
Cute suit!