After a slow and relaxed start to the day, our first stop of the day was to find a “Drug Store” to get some ear drops as my right ear has decided to misbehave whilst we have been away. After securing the medication without any issue we wanted to start the fun part of the day. Iririki Island is a touristy private island that is a five minute boat ride from the main street in Port Villa. The jetty is hard to find and we spent a long time trying to find them in the boiling heat, but is actually right next to the markets we were at on Day 2.
By the time we were ready to go, it was already after 2pm and we were hungry and overheating. As they charge 2,500V each for a day trip and we would have a little over two hours, we decided to postpone it a day to get more enjoyment from it. Instead we paid a visit to the Numbawan (a common phrase meaning “awesome”) for lunch, ‘Tanna’ coffee sourced from volcanic soil and a freshly squeeze lime juice. While we were there we discovered they screen movies in the open air and moonlight on Saturdays so we decided to try and return the next day to watch.
After lunching and WIFIing we visited the craft markets, these were quite different from the previous markets in that they were specifically targeting tourists with their wares. There were large signs indicating what you can and can’t bring back to Australia and New Zealand and a sea of pleasant smiles welcoming you to view their produce. There were a wide variety of different objects, from wood carved turtles to hand woven bags, from paintings to shell necklaces. We picked up a couple of souvenirs and then headed home via bus to call it a day.
The next morning my ear had completely given up and was almost deaf on one side. Regardless, we headed out at lunchtime to go direct to Iririki Island. The bus dropped us off at the jetty and as we walked up to it a boat was boarding which was amazing timing. Hoping on the ferry, we were treated to a gentle cool breeze and stunning view of Efate and Iririki islands. Arriving on the island after a short three minute ride, we were funnelled to reception where we bought the day passes to the resort/island.
The island is designed as a 45 minute circuit, with villas, casinos, pools, tennis court, games room, water sport rentals and private beaches. We almost booked this resort instead of the Ramada so we were excited to see what it was like. We first found the pool, which was larger but full of tourists. We decided to order some food instead of swimming, which we already knew was very expensive. The food was ok, but not great – especially for the price. Wanting to checkout the private beaches next, we resumed our circumnavigation of the island. We didn’t realise the intense heat would be so pervasive.
To avoid sunstroke, we took refuge under a tropical fruit tree and had a short break. When life had re-entered our body, we continued a bit further along the track and came across the snorkelling area. Tanya found a sunbed while I went into the water. The coral was quite bleached by the sun and the heat, but the fish were plentiful and amazing. The water was quite salty which made it easy to float and drift around and really relax.
After swimming, we wanted to head to the casino, not to gamble but to escape into air-conditioning. Eventually we found a buggy to take us (some of the way) there and walked the rest. Inside was quite sad, clearly was just targeting tourists who are unable to gamble back home. It smelt like tobacco and was quite depressing, but it was cool inside which we appreciated as we were trying to remover from our sunstroke. Someone tried to sell us a private fishing tour which we declined and was our cue to leave. Again we were fortunate to get a ferry straight away and went back to Port Vila.
The next destination was to return to the Numberwan cafe for dinner and an open air movie. We ordered dinner and had some coconuts, which are surprising hard to find at restaurants. After the meal, we were too tired and hot to stay out, so went home to watch a movie in bed. Jurassic World was the perfect terrible movie to watch, and it was exactly what we expected.