Our first meal at Iriirki was a let down with overcooked prawns and chips that were like cardboard.
This meal (Eye Fillet + seasonal vegetables) however was a lot nicer – it was 2600 Vatu each or about $34 NZD each.
The steak was lovely, and better than most in NZ.
Medium rare was more like Medium - Overall 4*
We had arranged with a taxi driver to drive us at 1:30pm from the Iririki Jetty to the Bukura Beach House but we rang and changed it to 12pm since we had to check out of the resort by 11am. We walked to the Michener's restaurant and had breakfast and then walked back to the unit. We cleaned up and rang for a bus to pick us up. Bus - A very small mini van on the island.
We checked out and left our bags there and waited for the ferry to take us to the mainland – about 2 minutes.
We changed some cash at Goodies money changer (apparently better than some others). We ordered some duty free to be collected at the airport on Friday with prices that seemed better than in NZ.
2000 Vatu is about $26 NZD
The best prices we could find in NZ for those products were $32 for the gin, and $29 for the vodka, so a small difference.
Our taxi man arrived on time in his small mini van – just enough room for us and our bags.
We asked him to stop at the supermarket on the edge of Port Vila so we could buy some groceries. It took a while even while hurrying to buy some food for our stay. Bukura is about 8km from the nearest shop.
It took us about 20 minutes to get the food and drinks – disappointed in the fish – all frozen!
Sirloin steak was a good price at 1100 vatu per kg. We bought about 600 grams, and some eggs (420 vatu for 1 dozen), bread sticks (100 vatu each), beer stubby (210 Vatu each), lemonade (420 vatu for 2 litres) and a few other things.
We were then off on the drive to the Beach House. It is not a long way but the roads were worse than Christchurch with potholes everywhere. We then had to take a road that was just dirt for about 5km. This was real bad in the little van – glad it was not my car.
We then arrived and met Ole and Eke who look after the property and keep it clean in exchange for a small house on the property and a small income.
The place is lovely, very relaxing and enjoyable.
There are three buildings on the property, the main living area with Kitchen, Lounge and Dining in an open plan in the centre building. Our bedroom is the 2nd building and it a nice space. The third building is another bedroom or may be two bedrooms – we have not been in there.
The kitchen is nice and large with a good work bench.
While we visited Vanuatu the exchange rate was $1 NZD = 73 VATU
Most items are in multiples of 50 or 100 vatu.
For example a lettuce was 100 Vatu or $1.36 NZD
A lot of vegetables from the market were 200 Vatu, but sometimes different stalls had different prices.
Some Prices in September 2013 in the market
Local bananas looked horrible, all splotchy and dark – but I guess ours are irradiated which is worse!
LAP LAP above – 300 Vatu – can come with Fish, Chicken, or Vegetables (200 Vatu), the local ladies selling these are all happy and don’t mind a photo!
Peanuts with the stalks - 100 Vatu per bunch
Lots of plantains for sale – never found the price since we we not interested in buying.
Stacks of lettuces (small hearts) – 300 vatu for 6-7 lettuces
The outskirts of the market
Fresh Flowers - looked good – prices varied
Firewood for sale – mostly 300 vatu for a bunch
It was an early start for us in Christchurch, I set the alarm for 4am, but woke up at 3:30am. Pam was woken by my alarm of a blender at 4am.
We showered and were ready an hour early so we drove to the airport anyway – we had arranged to park the car at Air Park Canterbury for the week.
It was about the same as a shuttle (17 per night for the first 3 nights and then 7 per night after that) and at least we can stop on the way home if we need to.
So we got to the parking place and parked up – Went inside and paid and waited about 30 seconds for a van to take us to the airport which is about 5-10 minutes away.
We arrived in Auckland, and wondered across to the international terminal, about 10 minutes.
We went through immigration and had a gin at a duty free shop – I guess a gin at 9am is ok?
We looked around the duty free and bought a bottle of Vanilla Vodka and wondered towards the gate.
We were only at the gate about 5 minutes before boarding started.
A quick 3 hours and we were arriving in Port Vila. It was nice and warm when we departed the aircraft, but then there was some rain in the air and a few drops hits us as we walked to the terminal.
Immigration was like most – waiting in line, but we were though in about 20-30 minutes.
Next pickup and bag and declare the food we bought with us, nothing much, just some teas, salt + pepper, and some herbs.
The guy said no problem and he did not want to see what we had so we walked out of the customs area to the outside.
We found a guy with our name on a sheet for the transfer to Iririki resort. We had to wait for about 10 minutes so I bought a SIM card and got it connected to my phone – 1000 Vatu with 1000 Vatu credit.
The roads reminded me of Christchurch, pretty potholed.
We then got out at a small jetty in the centre of town to catch the ferry to the Iririki resort.
Not too bad – there by about 1pm