Leg 1 of the Honeymoon:
1 week split between Tanna Island (volcano) and Espirito Santo Island (diving)
Population: 0.23m (UK = 60m)
Area: 80 Islands covering 12,000sq km (UK = 245,000)
Famous for: Volcanoes and cargo cults. (Used to be called New Hebrides) Cost of a can of fizzy pop in a cafe: £1.50
Temperature in July:"Warm" 24-26'C day and night. 60% humidity. Local food: Food is normal, the drink 'kava' however is indescribably awful. Flight cost: £1200 to get here plus £70 inter-island flights
Days 1-3: Sydney
22 hours after leaving Heathrow we arrived in Sydney. Not much going on except cockateels which attack passing pommies.
Days 3-7: Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Another 2 flights and we eventually end up on Tanna island, home to the eternally angry Yasur volcano. There aren't any proper roads on this island and we are staying on a remote beach in a bamboo hut.
It's an awesome spectacle. You are balanced on a thin ridge with cliffs of certain death in front and behind. 200m away the mouth of the volcano explodes every few minutes, sounding like a mixture of a bomb and jet engines, throwing molten rocks around 500 metres into the air.
There are no "Health and Safety" wasters here. Falling down a cliff into the volcano in the pitch dark is a real possibility. Although you'd probably stop on a ledge before the falling in the opening. You'd then get toasted and battered by rocks while you wished you hadn't said "what could possibly go wrong?"
The video footage is even more spectacular than the pictures as you get the sound as well. Turn up your volume to deafening level...
One evening we went to see the famous (among readers of The God Delusion!) John Frum cargo cult village, but it was as dull as can be. They were just sat around playing guitars. However on the way home we happened to pass another community that were having an all-night rave which involved chanting and running around in circles dressed like xmas trees. Now those guys really knew how to party!
The locals here are very unfriendly and the cats are really stressed out.
Days 7-11: Espirito Santo Island, Vanuatu
Two more flights north and we are on another Island, staying at a really posh place. It has even has electricity!
During World War 2 a huge US ship hit one of the mines which were supposed to be protecting the harbour from baddies. The captain ran it aground so everyone could get off and it then sank. Its now a place for divers to explore.
The ship is still full of jeeps, but after 70 years the batteries are flat so they don't start very easily.
There are random items everywhere like gas masks, helmets and rifles...
...and bullets, both small and HUGE!
The other place we dived was "million dollar point". At the end of the war the Americans were leaving and had lots of equipment they didn't need, but the british wouldnt give them any money for it, (knowing that the Americans couldn't take it with them). So out of petulence the Americans dumped it all in the sea!