On Monday I went ashore at 7am to get a ride across the island to Lenakel which is the main village. I paid Tourist price but the tourist seats were taken up inside the twin cab ute by some French people were staying in a rented bungalow near the Yacht Club. Instead I sat on the back of the ute with several other local people and held on grimly as the vehicle ground and lurched and bumped its way along the rough road for two uncomfortable hours. The scenery was amazing in places - we went past the turnoff to the Volcano but the road then skirted the very edge of it further on and crossed an ash plain, a windy dust swept desert-like expanse where the road disappeared. We crossed a shallow stream that cut deep into this plain, and then he road ascended to a kind of plateau in the middle of the island before descending again on the other side to the town. We arrived about 9.45 and left at 2pm. I wandered the dusty streets and chjecked out the few stores there, and the market and the wharf and also visited the Hospital where I met the Doctor, there on his own and unsure when the other doctor will get back from Vila . He was too busy to show me round unfortunately, but as is so typical of developing world Hospitals I noticed donated unusable equipment in several places, long lines of people waiting around outside and buildings in serious need of maintenance. There were two new babies in the maternity wing.
I had been told that in Lenakel Public internet was available so went to find it. THey seem to have skipped the step where internet Cafes have Computers you can use and gone straight to wifi - in other words you have to bring your own computer which of course I had not done!
Down on the wharf a tiny interisland freighter was rolling wildly in the ocean swell as cargo was unloaded by hand, and anchored oput furtherb were two yachts, one of which was the catamaran nthat for a fgew days I had been moored beside at Vuda Point Marina. Later on the street I ran into Ruby, one of her crew, and we discussed ou passages across. They are thi9nking of comiong around to Port Resolution where the anchorage is calmer and access to the Volcano is so much easier.
I had been asked to buy some Kava root abnd cigarettes for the Nakamal, and did so, along with some floour for Nelson and a loaf of bread for myself. The return journmey was complicated by all the supplies that were loaded onto the back of the ute and an extra couple of passengers, so it was a reliuef to get abck about four, and then walk nmup nto the Nakamel mto meet David and Nelson and Thompson - whose boots I hjave yet to repair n- and had some more Kava o drink, a poiece of fish and some laplap. I returned to the boat in the dark and reminded mysdelf yet againj not to ever oleave the boat without bringing my headlamp.
Today, Tuesday it is overcast and light rain is falling. I think I will mostly stay on the boat today. I noticed just now another yacht I was familiar with at Vuda Marina has turned up.
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