Just because you’re staying on a remote island in the South-Pacific where there’s a population of around 30-40,000 people, doesn’t mean you’re not going to find a lot of ways to amuse yourself.
On the day of our Wedding Anniversary, we hired a quad bike for the kids to get around on. In Santo it’s completely legal to drive these along the main roads and completely legal to have a family of three kids all on the same ‘quadie’. It cost $75.00 for the bike for 24 hours.
In the interests of safety, we said to the kids, ‘You can take the quadie up the coast where there’s less traffic but don’t take it into town’.
‘Righto, dad’, replied Archie. The idea was that they would cruise around on the coast road then meet us at the Riri Blue Hole. Off they went with Archie driving and Alfie balancing in front of him and Arabella clutching on to Archie at the back.
Drew and I set off on bicycles and cycled about 4kms along a level road to the Riri Blue Hole. And those on the quadie never appeared.
When we arrived back at Barrier Beach House we saw Archie who said they’d had a great time going all over the coast and just didn’t have time to meet us at the blue hole. Never mind.
We walked into our room to see the staff had decorated the room to celebrate our anniversary which we thought was very nice but surprising seeing as we hadn’t mentioned it to anyone.
That night Drew and I had our anniversary dinner at Moyyan with the kids eating at the Beach House. Towards the end of the dinner Archie came over to ask how much longer we were going to be as he had something he wanted to show us. It’s so hard to have an uninterrupted meal.
A few minutes later we were on the sand in front of the Beach House, seated on the sun lounges and watched Archie and his apprentice, Alfie, buzzing around with matches. They gave us a sparkler each and told us to sit back and enjoy the show.
Well I’d barely leaned my back against the chair when fireworks started going off in every direction. Yes, Archie had done what we’d asked him not to do and that was take the quadie into town and drive it to the nearest Chinese-type supermarket-type store. Fireworks are legal in Vanuatu.
Archie doesn’t do things by halves and so there was banging and explosions of fireworks lighting up the sky. The show started with smaller little fountain-type fireworks but then Archie had bought the big thumper of a firework where it’s a wide cylinder that you push the firework into and then you light it and it shoots a hundred metres into the sky then explodes with a loud bang and then there’s great balls of fireworks in lots of colours. And he bought quite of few of those.
During the day he had asked Shane if it would be okay to let off the fireworks on the sand in front of the Beach House and Shane is quite laid back and said, ‘Well mate, how’s your trajectory? You’re not going to burn my place down are you?’
And Archie said, ‘Mate, it’s fine; my trajectory’s all good’.
Archie’s always loved matches, explosions and noise so this was him at his happiest. I think half his joy came from being able to do something that’s completely illegal in Australia.
The show went for a few minutes with all the other guests enjoying the display and I have to say, Archie’s trajectory is actually very good. All fireworks went straight up and not towards the house or any house guest.
It was a very special and memorable anniversary.
You can purchase fireworks from stores in Main Street, Luganville.