Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Divine Melanesia

Farmers on a roadside plot that connects the south to Champagne Beach.
Ni-Vanuatu Generations
Blonde grandmother and grandson in Luganville's Unity Park.
Jungle and South Pacific
Lush coastline front, walking distance from Champagne Beach.
a beach of champagne
Champagne Beach's seductive coastline, owned by an elder who refuses to sell to tourist investors and charges small entrance fees.
An agglomeration of curious people follow a film playing in a street video club.
in team
Friends pose on a podium in honor of Football Independence, before starting a football match.
Divine Coast
Champagne Beach's seductive coastline, owned by an elder who refuses to sell to tourist investors and charges small entrance fees.
A long way
Father and son walk along the unpaved road that leads to Champagne Beach.
Residents of Luganville, the capital of Espiritu Santo in front of the LSC store.
A group of Nivanuatu women participate in a Unity Association of Santo sale.
Young salespeople working for Digicel sell mobile phone credit.
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós thought he had discovered Terra Australis. The colony he proposed never materialized. Today, Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu, is a kind of Eden.

We never quite understood whether it was a miracle or mere mercy with outsiders.

What is certain is that despite the Overbooking Early risers who had graduated, they put us on the plane full of native passengers and their crates, chickens and who knows what else.

The stewardess still uncoiled the safety instructions in the fun dialect bislama and we were already soaring into the skies of the South Pacific. A blanket of deep dark clouds obstructed our view over Efate and the surrounding archipelago, returned to spaces by sunny intervals.

Below, well-designed reefs are unveiled and a sea of ​​green that covered the mountains and coastlines, right down to the sands that were sometimes white and sometimes black.

We flew over Nguna, Emae and Epi. With Paama behind, we catch sight of Ambrym and the lush landscape gives way to the lava desolation generated by two active volcanoes, the Benbow and the Marum. Then the plane changes course and descends to Luganville, the second and last village in Vanuatu that anyone would dare to call a city.

As a team, Unity Park-Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Friends pose on a podium in honor of Football Independence, before starting a football match.

The Mistaken Discovery of Pedro Fernandes de Queirós

Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, the navigator from Évora who discovered those places to the West, had a lot more work traveling to the same destination. He landed there with ambitions to develop it in the name of God and for the enjoyment of the third Philippine king (second Philip of Portugal).

He thought it was the great elusive continent of the south and called the archipelago Austrialis del Espiritu Santo. Inspired by a strong religious fervor, he further proposed the founding of a colony in that land which he was certain “to be more delicious, healthier and more fertile than any that could be found”. He decided to name her Nova Jerusalem.

When Nostalgia Defeated Romanticism

But the natives disapproved of his intentions and frequently attacked the settlers. Also part of the crew disagreed with his romantic judgment. At a weaker moment in the captain's health, opponents forced a return to Mexico.

Queirós traveled from the Americas back to Spain where he lived for some time in poverty. For 7 years, he sent memorials to the king (at least 65 are believed to be) begging him to authorize a third expedition.

But, to their chagrin, the Royal Council replied that the works in the Pacific weakened the Motherland and that they could not pay for them. In addition, it banned the publication of the navigator's findings so that no other nation would benefit from them. Queirós died, frustrated off the coast of what is now Panama, on his way to the kingdom of New Spain.

The island that he discovered and on which we were about to land adopted the name of Espiritu Santo. It didn't take long to notice some of the attributes that enchanted the navigator, as well as other doubtful relationships with his colonial projects.

Landing in the Divine Land of Espiritu Santo

Pekoa airport is small, but a delay by the personnel in charge of unloading luggage forces us to wait in the arrivals hall. We took the opportunity to examine some images on the laptops and, when we noticed her, we had a group of curious people on our backs.

Grandmother and grandson ni vanuatu, Unity Park-Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Blonde grandmother and grandson in Luganville's Unity Park.

One is black (Melanesian) but surprisingly golden. It triggers in us a certain admiration and a lively conversation about the African origin or Lapita of the Ni-Vanuatu people and about why so many Ni-Vanuatu have golden hair.

One of the natives, who speaks English well, leaves us stunned with his explanation: “Well, you know the history of the lost tribes of Israel, do not know? Around here, many people believe that the Ni-Vanuatu are descendants of one of them. "

The theory does not seem to answer the capillary conundrum nor has it been supported by historical or scientific evidence, but it was very fashionable during the XNUMXth century and provides a cloth for sleeves. Only the arrival of the almost forgotten suitcases interrupts the debate.

We settled in Luganville, the unpretentious capital of the island and, as the day was still beginning, we went out to explore its few streets.

Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Residents of Luganville, the capital of Espiritu Santo, in front of the LSC Hardware store.

The Inevitable Chinese Presence and Prolific Sales ni-Vanuatu

A significant part of the ground floor buildings on Boulevard Higginson (the main avenue) were occupied by Chinese emigrants, owners and owners of shops that sell a bit of everything at prices inflated by insularity and the Sino-genetic of work and profit.

The establishments are dark, crowded and even dusty. They employ two or three native helpers who help owners solve unexpected problems and get away with both tribal dialects and the national language, a tight Creole that mixes French and Melanesian terms with basic English.

The local market is much more airy. It houses dozens of women in loose, colorful dresses who sell goods – vegetables, fruits and animal products – that the tribal lands produce and, in which the Chinese, do not compete.

Some leave their adjoining stalls and join a spontaneous crowd of spectators watching a movie on TV from a crowded DVD rental house.

Spontaneous street cinema, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

An agglomeration of curious people follow a film playing in a street video club.

Next door, in Unity Park, the Unity Association of Santo promotes a street sale that reverts to the homonymous religious nucleus. Other women in dresses, aprons and caps sell slices of cake, pies, pastries, baked taro and fried fish in the shade of centuries-old trees with long multi-branched trunks.

"Taste my pie, madam and sir”, offers us one with extreme delicacy and sets the tone that the others had been waiting for to impose their specialties. We ended up tasting a little of everything and left some vatus in return they fully satisfy them.

Unity Association of Santo sale, Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

A group of Nivanuatu women participate in a Unity Association of Santo sale.

A short distance away, three or four kids try their luck at a different business, sheltered from the heat under a red parasol.

"Top Up Here"and "top up with me”, the messages on their mini-stand and on the t-shirts leave little doubt: they are representatives of the newcomer Digicel and recharge the credit of the few mobile phones already operational on the island.

From time to time, they also sell one or another phone but in a territory that lives happily in pure self-sufficiency kastom (traditional), only the wealthiest give in to whim.

Sellers Digicel-Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Young salespeople working for Digicel sell mobile phone credit.

Holy Spirit as God made her

Just a long walk beyond the Tabwemsana or Kotamtam Mountains – the highest on the island – and we may come across tribes that do not come to civilization and may never have seen a white, such as some more elusive Lysepsep who, favored by their pygmy stature (adults measure just three feet) are limited to watching outsiders from safe hiding places.

But it is not necessary to go that far to admire other unusual facets of Espiritu Santo.

Harry, a driver from the neighbor Pentecost island that we hired apologizes for the state of the red dirt road that runs along the east coast of the island, between large coconut groves, leafy gardens and dense jungle. There is nothing to apologize for.

North Road, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Father and son walk along the unpaved road that leads to Champagne Beach.

Three bumpy hours later with stops for bathing in several idyllic brackish lagoons, the path winds through strange forests of morning glory and descends into an azure blue sea.

Even before we reach it, we are stopped by a gate controlled by an elder.

Tropical setting, Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Lush coastline front, walking distance from Champagne Beach.

Champagne Beach's Eden Tropic-Bathroom

Harry asks us for the toll: “Very good friends. We arrived at the famous Champagne Beach.

This is owner. We have to pay him 1000 vatus”. The beach is deserted and, we doubt the owner is aware of it, but it is one of the most beautiful we had seen so far.

Champagne Beach Cove, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Champagne Beach's seductive coastline, owned by an elder who refuses to sell to tourist investors and charges small entrance fees.

In Espiritu Santo, as in Vanuatu in general (the name of the nation means Our Land) what counts most is what is left to the tribe's descendants and they often meet to veto real estate deals that certain foreign investors try to do with the government.

Harry tells us that Australian and New Zealand cruise companies often offer thousands of dollars to get to the beach, build infrastructure there and disembark tourists. Until today, always in vain.

Champagne Beach and the natives' attachment to the soil in which they were born are just examples of all the reasons why we find ourselves venerating Espiritu Santo and praising the passion of its discoverer Pedro Fernandes de Queiros for your island.

Wala, Vanuatu

Cruise ship in Sight, the Fair Settles In

In much of Vanuatu, the days of the population's “good savages” are behind us. In times misunderstood and neglected, money gained value. And when the big ships with tourists arrive off Malekuka, the natives focus on Wala and billing.
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island That Survived "Survivor"

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

Lifou is the island in the middle of the three that make up the semi-francophone archipelago off New Caledonia. In time, the Kanak natives will decide if they want their paradise independent of the distant metropolis.
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Naghol: Bungee Jumping without Modern Touches

At Pentecost, in their late teens, young people launch themselves from a tower with only lianas tied to their ankles. Bungee cords and harnesses are inappropriate fussiness from initiation to adulthood.
Honiara e Gizo, Solomon Islands

The Profaned Temple of the Solomon Islands

A Spanish navigator baptized them, eager for riches like those of the biblical king. Ravaged by World War II, conflicts and natural disasters, the Solomon Islands are far from prosperity.
Gizo, Solomon Islands

A Saeraghi Young Singers Gala

In Gizo, the damage caused by the tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands is still very visible. On the coast of Saeraghi, children's bathing happiness contrasts with their heritage of desolation.
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

James Cook thus named distant New Caledonia because it reminded him of his father's Scotland, whereas the French settlers were less romantic. Endowed with one of the largest nickel reserves in the world, they named Le Caillou the mother island of the archipelago. Not even its mining prevents it from being one of the most dazzling patches of Earth in Oceania.
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
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Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

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Architecture & Design
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Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

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PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

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Parade and Pomp
Ceremonies and Festivities
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When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

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Sanahin Cable Car, Armenia
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

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Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
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Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
shadow of success
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

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island of salt, Cape Verde

The Salt of the Island of Sal

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São Miguel Island, Dazzling Colors by Nature
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

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Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Zambia
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwee

Livingstone's Thundering Gift

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
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Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
UNESCO World Heritage
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
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Make-believe stars

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Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

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Detail of the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam, India.
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
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Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
the projectionist
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Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

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Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

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