Vanuatu – Poppy’s on the lagoon

grey Vanuatu   Poppys on the lagoon

Girl paddling canoe in lagoon

You know those really small regional towns? The ones cut in half by highways going somewhere good? The towns with a pub (maybe), a petrol station and a few aged folk sitting on balconies, suspiciously watching cars go by. I am currently riding my motorbike home from one of these towns in regional Victoria, Australia. Having spent the last two and a half weeks casting medicines upon the unsuspecting locals of Avoca, currently a few thoughts are rattling through my mind:

What a bunch of friendly folk! Why the hell do I ride a motorbike in winter? Will feeling return to my legs? What time was that flight? Stop daydreaming and look out for kangaroos you fool. Jette would kill me if I crashed the night before our honeymoon!

 28 hours later

I wake in Vanuatu in an unfamiliar bed. Like a dopey koala I follow Jette down to reception to plan our week. Jette has this freakish ability to shake off any length of commute faster than a politician forgets election promises. I let her do the talking as I sit there drooling, laughing randomly and generally needing caffeination.

grey Vanuatu   Poppys on the lagoon

Relaxing at Poppy’s on the Lagoon

We have decided to stay at Poppy’s on the Lagoon. My second impression of Poppy’s is that I could easily spend the whole time sitting next to the pool, reading and relaxing. My first impression was at 4am last night. That involved thoughts of bed then wishing that the rooster would shut the hell up. Our accommodation is a short ten minute walk, past the prison and down a hill, into town. Poppy’s is set amongst lush tropical gardens and faces a quiet lagoon. Maybe this is a sign that we are getting older but we never once considered staying in town near the ‘action‘, nor do we want to set foot in the Adult pool. I’ve seen the internet movies…

Jette and I wanted to have some time together before I go to Nepal for six weeks and she returns to Denmark to visit family and friends. As such we don’t want to spend the whole time running around trying to do everything. To that end we just book an overnight trip to see Mt Yasur (active volcano) and a day SCUBA diving on Tranquility Island. Tranquility Island … I’d visit there on the name alone.

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Between a few days sitting on the beach and exploring town we rent a Quad bike and buzz off to see the blue lagoon. Interesting fact: The first movie I saw with boobs in it was called The Blue Lagoon. I had high expectations of this place. The main island of Vanuatu, called Efate, is bristling with blue lagoons where fresh meets salt water. We are assured that this one, is the Blue Lagoon. After a few frights involving me forgetting to drive on the right-hand side we make it safely to the lagoon. There is no one else here so I switch into my swimming shorts under a tree and dive right in. The visibility is amazing, even without goggles. Clear, warm, inviting water and my wife in a bikini = happy days! The lagoon is surrounded by lush jungle and rimmed by white sand. It is truly a scene taken from a postcard. We find a rope swing attached to a tall tropical tree and start swinging gleefully. Soon about eight other holiday makers show up and join in the fun.

The boys try to climb higher and higher in the tree before swinging. I may have started that game. You know when you get an idea, immediately think this will go wrong, but then do it anyway.

Yeah, that.

One time I swing my legs above my head and latch them onto the rope as I swoop over the lagoon. At the top of my arc I let go with my legs but my hands stay attached. The initial idea was to be facing down as I released my feet and to do a graceful dive into the water. The reality was that when my hands also slipped I hit the water from about 3 meters high flat on my side.

WHACK!

I bob to the surface with a surprised grimace and decide that It would be safer risking my life on the roads. Time to go.

Feeling like we have been on holidays for months we arrive back at Poppy’s to get an early night ready for a day of SCUBA diving.

2 Responses to Vanuatu – Poppy’s on the lagoon

  • Mel says:

    Your nephew said, “Uncle Ben is so brave! Why didn’t Auntie Jette jump?” (I wanted to say because Auntie Jette has more sanity and that Uncle Ben is an adrenaline junkie but thought that the explanations behind those statements would result in a much longer conversation and with washing waiting in the sink I have decided to delve in to that at a later date.) Can’t wait to read the next installment (if you can make them bed-time story friendly… :D )

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