Monday, December 8, 2008
Bush Waterfall Hike
The Malekula Hiking Trail Komiti is happy to announce a new overnight hike to a bush village and waterfall.
The hike goes to the bush village of Vanmai, and then on to a large waterfall.
Lamap to Waterfall Tour
Lamap to Vanmai
Distance: 7.33 km
The trail starts on the opposite side of Port Sandwich. The trailhead can be reached by paddling a canoe across the inlet and entering a river on the other side. The trail goes through a coconut plantation, before meeting up with the main road that runs all the way down the east coast of the island. (note: Therefore, you could also take a truck to this point if a canoe is not available.) From here the trail goes past a village called Small Hokai, and crosses a river that you will have to wade. The trail is clear and wide, but can get muddy. Soft mud is a problem after heavy rains. Mosquitoes can also get heavy in through here. There is a large field that could be used to camp. A few people in Lamap have houses built out here, and keep a second garden in this area. You will pass a few before crossing the river again and reaching the village of Vanmai. A good idea is to sleep in this village. You can drop off most of your heavy belongings and then proceed to the waterfall with as little weight as possible.
Vanmai to Waterfall
Elevation: 300 m
To proceed to the waterfall ask for a man named Ising. One of his children will be able to guide you on from here. The road heads into some steep and sometimes slippery terrain. It also becomes overgrown really quickly. Ising’s children are very adept with their bush knifes, and never seem to tire while cutting away the countless vines. The road leads to the top of the waterfall, and the road down is extremely steep. Make sure to use your hands and feet, even your bottom if necessary. If you time it right you can get a few hours at the falls and still make it back to Vanmai before nightfall. (If you ask there will certainly be a bowl of kava to take away the stiff joints from the walk.)
Total Distance from Lamap to the Waterfall and back to Vanmai is 18.47 km.
The entire experience costs 3,500 vatu per tourist and includes guides to the waterfall, a nights stay in Vanmai village (in a custom house, or in a tent if you choose to bring one), food and kava.