Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Vibrant Port Vila

The handicraft market at Port Vila, Vanuatu
After the peace of Lifou, it was a bit of a shock to encounter a traffic jam on a Pacific island. Lini Highway, the main road of Port Vila, was chock a block with cars, utes and minivans. But there was no road rage. Everyone seemed to be good natured and smiling, courteously stopping to let bewildered cruise ship passengers cross the road.
  You can walk the main street of Port Vila in about 5 minutes, but why would you want to? Take your time to stroll - there is so much to observe in this colourful town.
   According to the tourist brochures, the people of Vanuatu are among the friendliest in the world. I enjoyed chatting to the stallholders at the markets, the shop assistants in the duty-free stores went out of their ways to be helpful and the staff at the cafe we went to were very friendly.
  After the hustle and bustle of the main street, we walked along the waterfront and browsed around the market there in the thatched roof huts. If you like colourful beachwear, sarongs, and bags, this is the place to get them. 
   It was a little cooler and quieter on the shore of the harbour. The water was calm and there was a faint breeze that was pleasant. In the distance we could see our ship at dock, a sightseeing helicopter was taking off and landing from a pontoon, and a little ferryboat was transporting people to the resort island of Iririki that lies just offshore.

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