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Bus it!

VANUATU | Wednesday, 13 December 2006 | Views [3934] | Comments [1]

Drinking Kava (Tastes like muddy water)

Drinking Kava (Tastes like muddy water)

I think the Bus system in Port Vila has got to be one of the best in the world! For a flat rate of just over one dollar you can jump on any of the countless mini-busses and be taken to anywhere you wish within the city of port Villa. Just like a Taxi you may think, but as each mini bus may pick up to a dozen people along the way, the route it takes to drop everybody off may take you anywhere within the Capital before arriving at your desired destination. Its such agreat way for travellers/Tourists to get about, so much cheaper than the official Taxis, and you get to see areas of Port Vila that you would never otherwise get to. Plus lots of interaction with the very friendly & helpful locals.

Port Vila bus
On one bus trip, on the way back from the airport after flying back from visiting the remote hill-tribe on Tanna, the mini-bus/minvan pulled into a petrol station (for some reason they only ever seem to put a few litres of petrol in at a time, so visiting a petrol station happens pretty often), the pump assistant peered in through the side window and noticed one of the souvineers we had brought back from Tanna - an intricately carved walking stick with boar tusks attatched. Excitedly he motioned us to open the window and said "Did you get that from Yakel village? Did you get that from Tanna? Thats my tribe, thats where I come from!" He then called his wife over to have a look, who also admired it. We showed them some pics from the digital camera & they recognised several of the people from the tribe we had visited the day before.

It turns out the the walking stick we had bought from the remote Yakel village was actually a "Chief stick", as carried by a tribal chief. It was much admired by all the locals that saw it on Efate, and I was rather impressed that we had bought "the real deal" rather than the usual tourist stuff.

Other journeys we took on the busses (while simply trying to get from our hotel room to the town centre & back - about a 5 min trip along the main rd) went via some local's farms, the port, muddy 4wd tracks into areas where the houses were grass huts & rusted cars with tin-sheeting extensions, the airport, various schools, open air markets (complete with half a bus full of fresh vegies), the grand tour of the town centre & secret back roads, numerous petrol stations, and just about everywhere off the main road. A great way to see the 'real' Port Vila, and perfect for finding out where things are around town. It also helped a lot when we hired a car to drive around the island with - we certainly didn't get lost in Port Vila!

Click to see Google Satellite map of Efate Island, Vanuatu

Tags: beaches & sunshine, bus it, chief stick, kava, port vila, vanuatu




Yep, agree with your bus adventures!!!! I also really enjoyed the scenic trips around town etc.

  Margaret May 27, 2008 2:32 PM



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