New York Times Travel


martes, 5 de febrero de 2013

Vanuatu: Lazing on lovely Bokissa

Elisabeth Easther took her family to the Vanuatu island of Bokissa - 
a mini paradise

Peering into the clear depths at Bokissa Private Island Resort off Espiritu Santo. Photo / Elisabeth Easther
Peering into the clear depths at Bokissa Private Island Resort off Espiritu Santo. 
Photo / Elisabeth Easther

Espiritu Santo, the largest of Vanuatu's islands, is a tropical cliche, 
palm-fringed beaches, white sand and clear blue water teeming 

aquatic life created, one presumes, when God was on acid. 

For divers, 
In addition to coral reefs, there are also countless curiosities 

left over 
from World War II, including the wreck of the SS President 

Coolidge, a 
22,000 tonne luxury liner turned troop ship turned wreck 

diver's dream.

There are turtles, bats, coconut crabs and dugongs. If you haven't 
a dugong before, picture an underwater sea cow, grazing on the 

on the ocean floor. Santo also has waterfalls, extensive caves, 

forests, rivers and blue holes.

Dotted around Santo's mainland are smaller islands, and they're what 
appealed most because, when travelling, the further I am from the 
track, the better I like it.

Our voyage to Bokissa Island Resort took two planes (Auckland-Vila, 
Vila-Santo), a spin in a car and a 30-minute boat ride, and the beaten 
was nowhere to be seen.

On Bokissa there are no cars, no TVs, no irritations, just wall-to-wall 
with sweet little beachfront fares for digs.

The 71ha forested island is home to about 100 people, and although 
there are 
no shops or roads, there is a kindy and a small school for 

children up to the age 
of 12 - which means readymade playmates for 

the younger members of your 
party, a highlight for my boy.

Leilani, 5, showed us how to blow bubbles through a flower stem, 
and Nathan, 
7, a budding aeronautic engineer, made splendid paper 

darts. The boys shared 
a wavelength and, when not flying planes, 

spent happy hours spying on lizards 
and crabs.

On Bokissa, with its beachfront massage parlour (therapeutic), 
extensive library, 
pool, jungle paths and doorstep coral reefs, you could occupy 
for weeks 
without leaving. They're properly live 

coral reefs, too, 
the sort with twinkling 
blue LED lights 

installed by nature.

Bokissa also has a Padi dive centre, as well as visiting dugong.
Every morning at breakfast, tropical fruit a speciality, guests were 
shown a menu 
with two choices each for lunch and dinner, and 

everything was delicious. If you 
like fish, you're in luck, and if you 

don't, there's plenty for you, too.

And there are numerous excursions if your hammock releases you. 
One day we 
went by motorboat to another island where we 

paddled up a mangrove studded 
river, swam in a striking blue hole 

then enjoyed a barbecue on the beach. On the 
way home we 

occasionally cut the motor to reel in fish.

Another day we returned to mainland Santo to snorkel at Million 
Dollar Point over
mountains of dumped war surplus, utterly eerie to 

see in the sea - especially the 
forklift - now home to fish.

Aaron, our tour guide, was fabulous and full of information. 
At the height of 
World War II, Santo hosted more than 100,000 

Allied troops. At one point there 
were more than 40 cinemas, 

five airstrips and four field hospitals. The crashed B17 

bomber strewn through the jungle was a harsh reminder of war's 
Champagne Beach, where cruise ships park, with its pink 

sand and sparkling 
water, is as pretty as a postcard.

In Port Orly, Aaron showed us coconut crabs with nippers so strong 
they can 
snap your fingers off. We stopped at a coconut processing

plant, a little shack 
with roaring furnaces. This is backbreaking work. 

The locals earn a pittance for 
each tonne they produce, while 

offshore entities sell it on for a fortune. Back on 

things are more egalitarian and, whether you're a diver, history buff, 

hiker, caver, angler or just idle, Bokissa makes a heavenly base.

Getting there: Espiritu Santo is a 50-minute flight from Port Vila. Air Vanuatu
flies this route daily.
Accommodation: Bokissa Island Eco Resort is great for families, adults, lazy 
people, busy people, all people.
Source: The New Zealand Herald.

1 comentario:

  1. Great Blog Santiago, congratulations and greetings from: