I have been through many airports in my life, some good, some bad (Atlanta being the worst) and on the whole the check in experience has now been much more streamlined so there is less hanging about. Unfortunately, we have got spoiled with online check in and baggage drop so finding that Air Vanuatu did not have this facility meant that we were back to the tedious queuing. Three desks open and yet we hardly moved as for half an hour all three were taken up with queries on the passports of those checking in and we had to stand and fume. By the time we checked in, the tedium somewhat alleviated by discovering a package in the queue totally unattended, the consequential telling off of the bloke who had left it there to keep his place (right next to a sign saying nothing must be left unattended at any time), we had been standing for over an hour. Then through to customs where we had to fill in a form stating that we were not taking A$10,000 out of the country (I wish) and no food. Then through to security where another queue snaked around the hall. By the time we got through this lot we had one hour left before our plane was due to leave, and half an hour before boarding in which to get some breakfast.
Kathryn thought sod it and bought a Big Mac but I decided on a coffee and a toasted ham sandwich and headed off to the relevant seller. I found myself behind a woman who was buying up the entire selection of macaroons, having them packed and then paying for them with a bagful of change which she painstakingly counted out. By the time I came to give my order another ten minutes had gone by and k's Big Mac had been eaten. I watched the girl making the orders at the end of the counter and dosy was not the word to describe her, though actually it is. The effort of reading my order, finding a tea bag and pouring hot water on it, obviously taxed her mental abilities to the limit and by the time I got my cup of tea my toasted sandwich was stone cold. OK Oz rant out of way.
Plane took off, flight as tedious as all flights can be, lunch naff but worth it all when we arrived at Vanuatu International Airport which was minute and we were enveloped in warmth and sun. Greeted by a band and a smling face at passport control (now there is something new) and we were through into arrivals where we were met by another beaming young man who grabbed our suitcases, hauled them into a mini bus and drove us to our ferry ride across to Ekator Island.
Impossible to describe just how lush and gorgeous it all was. Sitting there with the engine put putting across the gloriously blue and green sea was just wonderful and all irritations and strains fell away. We were greeted with a non alcholic cocktail decorated with a hibiscus flower and then off to our thatched bungalow.