Pele Island, Vanuatu

Nestled between the islands of Nguna and Emao  lies Pele Island, the smallest of the three, just a short boat ride off the north-east coast of Efate. Between 200 – 300 Ni-Vanuatu people live in the four villages on the island and each village has at least one guest bungalow, an income generating project that also encourages visitors to Vanuatu to stay with and learn more about the local people and culture.

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We were greeted at the jetty by Enoch Takaue, the chief of Werearu village, and our host for the next few nights at the Sunset Frangipani Bungalow. The island has a small primary school (students board on the mainland to attend secondary school) and we made a quick stop to pick up Enoch’s two boys and their cousin on our way to Werearu.

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As Pele is quite small, you can easily walk around the island in a day. If you decided to stop on a beach for a swim anywhere along the way, it’s customary (and polite) to ask the village chief for permission. Before arriving we’d been keen to go exploring, but after dropping off our bags in the bungalow we settled into a couple of chairs to take in the view. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, to me, there is something quite magical about sitting in the shade of a palm tree, the sand between your toes and the gentle lapping of the ocean lulling you into an almost comatose state of relaxation within minutes.

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For the next two days we moved between the shade of the palm trees and dips in the ocean. And I wrote. Pages and pages and pages. I wrote about where we were and what we were doing. I wrote down ideas for stories, ramblings, and thoughts. None of it was important, thesis related, or for anyone else. I wrote because there were no distractions. There were no meals to cook (Enoch’s lovely wife, Joanna, made us three delicious – and massive – meals a day), no Facebook to check, emails to answer or tv to watch.

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In between writing, and hubby reading and sleeping in a hammock all day, we waded out into the shallows for a snorkel. The effects of Cyclone Pam are still evident on the reef. But, one year on and the coral is building itself back up. Little reef fish are moving back in and the clams, which are a local delicacy, create a patchwork of colorful fleshy lips woven into the growing coral bombies.

Two days were not long enough. I would’ve happily chilled out in the ocean, written, played with the kids and chatted to Joanna, swapping recipes, by the fire each night. Now we know about this gem of a place, we’ll be back for sure.

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Takaue Sunset Frangipani Bungalow Details

  • Accommodation: 3500 Vatu per person per night
  • Boat ride: 500 Vatu per person each way
  • Includes three meals a day, plus tea and coffee
  • Accommodation sleeps 5 (1 x double bed, 1 x single bed, 1 x bunk bed)
  • BYO snorkel gear
  • Bucket flush toilet and cold wash bathing facilities
  • Solar power LED lights hooked up in the bungalow and to the bathroom block outside

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To Do

  • Island walk
  • Snorkel
  • Surf (there are two breaks on Pele, one a short walk North to the point/reef break and one on the South-Eastern side of the island. The wind and swell were all wrong while we were there with a 1/2 – 1 foot wave breaking on the reef.)
  • Walk through the village and meet the locals/hang out with the kids after school
  • Read
  • Laze around in a hammock

To book contact Enoch on 5348534 or 7118360 or contact Evergreen Tours to help you connect with Enoch and book a stay.

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