As well as the many spiritual highlights we have been enjoying, we are also here for a holiday. And as Mum and Dad have not been before there is much to see. And we love it, so we have been enjoying going back to familiar places again.
So far we have been to the local markets of course. The variety of fruit and veg available has been affected by Pam, but there have been quite a few things being imported from the northern island of Santo which was not affected by the cyclone. There are lots of mandarins, lemons and limes and pompulmus (grapefruit). Coconuts, though drinking coconuts are only just making a come back. Not many bananas yet, but Mum was able to get a few last week. The cyclone destroyed the Mamas market which used to be along the harbour waterfront, but many of them have moved into the large undercover fruit market. So we have been able to reacquaint ourselves with many of them. Last year we spent a lot of time showing them my instruments and I have got a bit of a reputation and rapport with them this visit. They have asked me to make some more, as the last ones I left here sold for large amounts to Australian tourists!
We have also been to Mele Cascades. Click the link for more information. Cyclone Pam has changed this place, but we agreed it is probably for the better, if that is possible. If ever you want a fore gleam of paradise, without the snow and cold air of Tassie, this is the place to visit. The waterfalls are amazing. In fact the whole water system is amazing. The river is broken up into an endless array of beautiful, clear fresh water pools, each fed by, you guessed it, Cascades. The path itself meanders alongside and through these cascades. And when you get to the top, the waterfall is spectacular. No barriers here either. If you want to go into the pools or underneath the waterfalls, just use your common sense and go for it. I said the cyclone had improved the area? What it has done is cleared a lot of the taller trees. They were lovely too, but it now allows the sun to shine where it never did before. And there must have been some blockage to the river upstream as one part of the waterfall has stopped flowing. But this has just increased to flow of water over the main drop and really enhanced the sheet of water making the 50+ metre drop.
Last Friday we made the trip to another two must sees. Eton Beach and Blue Lagoon. Again, see the links for more info. The day was great. we all had a ball and enjoyed the beautiful surrounds. Eton Beach area was hit hard by the cyclone so there was a lot of damage to be seen. It was amazing to see the coconut plantations. Many of the trees had simply been uprooted. Most were still standing, but they had been stripped of any fruit. All of the shelters at the beach had been swept away but have now mostly been replaced. On the main road there was evidence of the huge tides and waves that had been generated. The sand had been washed up and over the road, in one place a new sand beach had formed several hundred metres inland.
Blue Lagoon was mostly unchanged. Again, many of the trees had been swept away or damaged, but the remaining ones are starting to flourish again. The two trees that hold the rope swings are still standing and I am pleased to say are fully operational. Dad even had a few goes on the rope swings, but soon came to realise his age. And the next day felt it even more.
They truly are beautiful places.