100 days :-)

Hi All,

„…and how is the life on the island“? – is a questions we’ve heard very often in the last weeks. So…, after now about 100 days (!) living on the island, we thought that we share some major insights about island life, experiences, habits and circumstances with you. What did we find out so far…

  • „Island time“: is the most important topic to be understood and to cope with. Everybody on the island has an own interpretation of the factor time. Basically it is about doing things in a relaxed and convenient way. But – it can also become really tricky regarding appointments… People simply do not show up.

Continue reading “100 days :-)”

Arriving in Paradise

arrive-rarotonga

G’Day Bro’s and Bro’ettes,

Right, after 30 hours travel from Munich to Rarotonga, we finally arrived. Yep, tiered but happy to be in beautiful paradise. Check it out in the video.

Pietro and Eltje

Mystical Ambrym

Ambrym

Hi adventurers,

another trip last week led us to the island of Ambrym.

The inhabitants of all other islands are a bit afraid of the people of Ambrym, because they are considered as magicians with some extraordinary skills. I think this reputation is simply based on the unreal living environment of these people…

The complete island of Ambrym is considered as one large shield volcano, with its two summits Mount Benbow (1159 m) and Mount Marum (1270 m). And a third nameless volcano currently is evolving in the shadow of these two giants.

Benbow and Marum are active volcanoes which continuously create massive sulphure- and ash cloudes. Only 40 days a year both cones are clear.

The difference compared to Mount Yasur on Tanna are height and distance. It is a hike of around 7 hours through a dramatic landscape to reach the rim of the caldera. And it is a lonesome area, in most of the cases you’ll find yourself completely alone on the rim of one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Some crazy adventurers abseil down from the caldera edge to the lava lake, because it is an unbelievable experience – and nobody hinders them (imagine you would try to do something similar in Europe or the US: unthinkable – authorities would imprison you 😉

We decided not to hike these volcanoes, but to do an airy ride around and across the volcanoes. With a small plane, and without the second door for an undisguised view to take pictures 😉 We started our flight from Ulei airfield, South East Ambrym. The variety of the landscape is really amazing. From the rainforest area, through valleys of green coated dark volcanic rocks, up to the iron red lava cliffs and finally the dark black caldera area, surrounded by sulphur and ash clouds… A great experience and simply mystical because you think you are rather on moon or mars than on earth.

Click here to join us on our flight across Ambrym – and see a lava lake from a bird’s perspective

And here some more cool impressions of Ambrym….

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Ambrym-28 Ambrym-27 Ambrym-6

Ambrym-46 Ambrym-45 Ambrym-43 Ambrym-42 Ambrym-41 Ambrym-39 Ambrym-34 Ambrym-33 Ambrym-32 Ambrym-31 Ambrym-30 Ambrym-29 Ambrym-26 Ambrym-25 Ambrym-23

Ambrym-44 Ambrym-37 Ambrym-21 Ambrym-22 Ambrym-19 Ambrym-18 Ambrym-11

See you soon again!

With pyroclastical regards,

Eltje & Pietro

Pentecost Island, Naghol – Land Diving Ritual

Pentecost, Naghol - Land Diving

Hi folks,

we are back again with the next chapter of our Vanuatu island & cultural experience…: a journey to Pentecost, another of Vanuatu’s beautiful islands with a lot of tradition.

Pentecost is the ritual birthplace of today’s extreme sport „bungy jumping“… : The people of a tribe build a narrow but tall tower of freshly felled tree trunks. From various levels of this tower, men of that tribe jump down into a bed of soil, only with vines attached to their feet. It is a ceremony to ask for a good harvest and fertility, and in the same way for boys too prove their manhood.

The ritual takes place only from April to June and only on Saturdays. And visitors are welcome. It is really impressive to stay close to this high but fragile tower and to see the passion and also great fun of all generations of the village, while dancing and singing in front of the tower to motivate each jumper. And it’s quite exciting to see the brave men land diving… (while we kept our fingers crossed that all goes well).

But we also recognized a little boy that prepared himself carefully to jump from a lower level and then, after analyzing the situation (wow – damn high!!), simply went back to his mother – a pretty good decision we thought 😉

Click here and share our airfare to Pentecost last Saturday and our Naghol experience

And see the people of the village and their enthusiasm for the ceremony:

Pentecost-14 Pentecost-13 Pentecost-7 Pentecost-6 Pentecost-5 Pentecost-4 Pentecost-3 Pentecost-2

Pentecost-16

And the tower & land diving heroes:

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Pentecost-29

Pentecost-31

Pentecost-33

Pentecost-34

Pentecost-35

Pentecost Naghol - Land Diving

Pentecost-27 Pentecost-26 Pentecost-22 Pentecost-21 Pentecost-20 Pentecost-18 Pentecost-25 Pentecost-17 Pentecost-15

We hope you enjoyed our video and pics!

See you soon – with amazing pictures of another of Vanuatu’s volcano islands.

Many regards,

Eltje & Pietro

And so a week passes by

Raro Beach

Hi All,

we are one week on the Cooks now – what else happened?

 

Day 3 (April 3) – Find the hidden places

Sunday. Each and everybody rests on Sunday. Shops are closed (at least most of them), church service is a must and local families meet – you can see them everywhere.

And we went around Raro with our scooter, which is a distance of about 40km. To see what’s new on the island, to find some new awesome places and probably to reassure ourselves that we still love this island 🙂

Stop 1:  Beach – for our first snorkeling on this journey. There are many snorkel and dive spots and you’ll be surprised sometimes who’s swimming with you. Check it out here:

Click here to view our snorkelling video on YouTube.

Stop 2: Supermarket (an open one…) to buy fresh tuna – because unfortunately Pietro didn’t catch a fish at Stop 1 😉 Also a place to meet the locals. They bring their self-cooked food and sell it there, and take the opportunity to taste the food prepared by others.

Stop 3: Looking for two other resorts we are interested in. We just found one of them. A completely different kind of location, beach front area at the western side of the island. Also really cool. Today we couldn’t take a closer look at this place because nobody was available to show us.

Stop 4: back home again – ready to cook the tuna, after a shower, and with a good glas of  New Zealand wine… Cheers!

 

Day 4 & Day 6 (April 4 & 6) – Some kind of business days

We met Carey who owns a Cook Islands real estate agency. As we had a large list of open question on how business is structured on the Cooks it took him & us nearly 2 hours to get our missing anwers – and this was just the beginning. The Learning of this „meeting“: life is different on the Cooks. But this is what we are looking for…
Smile of the day: Later that day Pietro passed his Cook Islands driving license test successfully 🙂
Two days later, we went around Raro with Carey, to visit some places for sale and get some more details about banking, insurances etc. and also where we can buy specific products. And – out of the blue – we also received another offering to buy a location – a trendy cafe/ bar/ restaurant in a cosy shopping area of Avarua, and in front the sea. We need to think seriously about this opportunity…

 

Day 5 (April 5) –  Nothing special, but…

Nothing special happened today. The weather was cloudy, so we took some time for organizational stuff.

Reflecting the last days there is one thing I have to mention, because it was a surprise for me. Thinking back to 2010, when I (Eltje) crossed the South Pacific island area, on the Cooks (but also on the other small island states) there was no great choice of „international“ products to buy. But nowadays, in a Cook Island supermarket (an we have now visited 3 of them) we found some of our absolute favorites…. like Lavazza coffee beans, Greek Kalamata olives, Teriyaki sauce, my favorite shampoo, Pietro favorite cookies, Nutella, a choice of olive oils, pretzels, New Zealand beef for a very reasonable price, broccoli, Philadelphia cheese and similar 🙂

Still missing: bread (we mean something that deserves to be called bread)

Summary: Times are changing, also on remote south sea islands.

 

With this we send you tropical regards and are back again the next days,

Eltje & Pietro

Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Reach For the Stars

feet on the ground reach fro the stars

Where I (Pietro) grew up in Johannesburg, there was a popular radio, and later also television, presenter – David Gresham – that always used to close his shows by saying “keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars”.

For us this means that while we spread our wings to explore new possibilities, and with it achieve our dream of “chilling happiness”, we do so with both our feet firmly planted on the ground. We approach our adventure realistically. We do our homework and carefully plan to achieve our objectives. All the while remaining open to new and alternative options.

Gary Player (South African golf player) frequently commented that he found that the more he practiced the luckier he became in winning tournaments. We have taken that phrase and modify it a bit by saying “the better one is prepared, the readier one becomes to explore new paths to success.”

Our wish for you is that your 2016 has a firm foundation, upon which you can stand to reach new heights in achieving your personal objectives.

Wir wünschen ihnen ein guten rutsch !!

Pietro & Eltje :-)))