Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pacific Jewel - 24 January 2013, Port Vila

Port Vila
We docked at Port Vila at around 8.30am which gave us plenty of time to have a relaxing breakfast before making our way off the ship. Seeing as we dock here there's no wait time to get off unless you go as soon as the gangway is open. I think this is generally for the people with early tours or eager beavers that always have to be first. This isn't us, we'll let the crowds go and then wander off at our leisure.

We have been here before on our previous two cruises so knew what to expect, busy markets filled with lots of cars and taxis! We decided that we'd go out to the Cascade Waterfalls but not with the ships tour as these work out so expensive. We had a pretty good idea how long it would take to get there and back and knew there are enough taxis around to ensure we could get back to the ship in plenty of time.

After making our way off the ship and over to the awaiting taxi's we negotiated with a driver to take us to the waterfalls and pick us up a few hours later to and take us back to the ship. We weren't going to bother going into Vila itself as we had done that before so preferred to use our time at the waterfall.

Bit of a traffic jam
The police were checking all the drivers had the correct paper work, our guy did! It was a bumpy old ride out to Cascades but we made it. I took a photo of our van as I knew I'd forget which one was ours. I needn't have worried as our driver remember us, we hadn't paid yet so I guess he was making sure he got his money! We've been told to pay on your return to ensure your driver comes back for you, good idea!

Our airconditioned van - open the window
The start of the walk up to the waterfalls
There's a lovely swimming spot at the bottom of the waterfalls which is the start of the walk up to the top. Great place to end your walk once you get back down. It's a beautiful walk, very hot but not too taxing. There's plenty of spots to stop and rest up and many opportunities to get yourself wet and cool down. It's not quite as relaxing as it would be if there weren't a ship load of people but that's cruising for you. You have to expect crowds.

Almost to the top
Made it
There was a ship tour where you could abseil down the waterfall which meant you didn't have to climb up to them you got driven to the very top. There were a few people doing this, great way to cool down.
Abseiling down the waterfall
We headed back down at a leisurely pace, taking time to get ourselves wet without slipping over and sliding all the way down the falls. Neither of us had our swimmers but we didn't mind just getting our legs wet. Once at the bottom we hung out at the lovely swimming spot before slowly making our way back to the carpark where we were meeting our driver. He actually found us while we were still resting up. Excellent, I had not a clue what he looked like and it was after lunch time the buffet must be wondering where we are!

Lots of fishies. It got busier as more people made their way back down.
Once back on board the Jewel we made a beeline for the...............................buffet. It was ready and waiting for us.

Plenty of tables to choose from

and plenty of food. I also got my yellow cocktail glass
After lunch we headed back off the ship and checked out the markets. You can't come to Vila and not visit the markets!

Vila markets
Retail therapy finished and it was back on board to get ready for sailaway which was about 5.30pm. We had a wonderful day and it was a gorgeous evening to sail out of Port Vila. Such a beautiful harbour and the weather was perfect. Luck us!

A tug boat showing us the way
Farewelling Vila from deck 14

Port Vila harbour

Hot spot time
Another absolutely fantastic day and tomorrow we have another new port - Mare. What a wonderful cruise we're having. Brilliant food, ports and company!

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