I was in Vanuatu with a photographer friend as her second photographer for a wedding she was photographing for the popular wedding date 10.10.10. I was also designing the wedding album for the couple.

We had booked into the Benjor Beach Club Resort, also the venue for the wedding, about a 10 minute bus ride from the International Airport or 15 minutes from Port Vila. We decided to add some extra days and make a holiday of it as well, as you do!

The Benjor Beach Club is a peaceful resort on 23 acres situated on the beautiful Mele Bay coastline with stunning ocean views and beaches to explore. The onsite restaurant will happily please your taste buds or its just a cheap bus trip into Port Vila.

Fresh as a daisy after yesterdays flight so its time to go exploring and we are heading into Port Vila to explore the markets and whatever else we may find.

We came across this boutique beauty shop that looked out of place amongst a village with its clean white walls and minimalist decor – we couldn’t resist going in.

From one contrast to the next – a minimalist beauty shop to the village markets.

Time to head back to the resort.

We were heading out for an evening of Vanuatu culture, we didn’t quite expect to be picked up and travel in the back of a ute like the locals, but hey its all part of the experience.

The next day we found this cute little cafe next to our resort. One of the benefits of getting out and exploring on foot.

Meanwhile more exploring …

Our daily morning walk along the beach up to a little cafe called The Beach Bar we found just where you board the boat to go over to Hideaway Island became a ritual we both enjoyed. We kind of got sidetracked this one day when we met some locals.

One of my favourite things we did while in Vanuatu, was to play with the local kids on the beach.  I had never played ‘duck duck goose’ before and with a bit of a language barrier, somehow my friend and the kids figured out they both knew the game. Thankfully my travel buddy was up to speed on the kids games. While there English was limited, they certainly knew the right words to say for us tourists.

A little further along the beach, we found more locals. It was a Saturday morning so kids were out playing, the lads just hanging out and mothers out bathing the little ones and doing their washing in the river.

For me traveling to other countries is about experiencing the local way of life and not be a ‘tourist’. Sometimes you just have to play the tourist and do some sightseeing things, but you just can’t beat mingling with the locals.

We finally made it to the cafe, had a swim and a cocktail and burger for lunch.

I put this little video together of the kids.  However another character we met on the trip but dont have any video off was Carl (pictured above) the local bartender/waiter, who worked at the cafe. We shared many a chat with Carl over a burger and morning cocktails after our 30 minute walk along the beach from Benjor. It was one of those morning walks in which we came across the Vanuatu kids playing.

If you can’t view the video, click here

We did a little exploring around the resort in preparation for tomorrows wedding.

We are off to Cascade Falls. I had been to Vanuatu years ago on a cruise I did for my 21st birthday and had been to Cascade Falls before so it was nice to come back and them at a more leisurely pace.

Tuesday nights were movie night at The Beach Bar and it was our last night in Vanuatu so we decided to treat ourselves to Pizza, Cocktail & Movie.

Then into Port Vila to watch the sunset.

Thank you Shelley for taking me on this adventure with you.


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