Tanna Adventure – The Flight of the Harbin

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After reading about Mt.Yasur Volcano and the kastom villages in Tanna, I wanted to visit the place before leaving Vanuatu. I had much hope on the unity airlines package which seemed to be cheaper.


Friday 13:45

What… you are not operating this Saturday?
Why…? Oh… you need minimum 4 persons to operate the trip...
Any other option...? You can only do it next week.
Ahhhhhhh...I wont be here then.
nahh... thanks...

Great time to get the news for the Saturday trip!!!

Friday 13:59

My research about Tanna came in Handy. I had inquired earlier about the Air Vanuatu flight rates and details and also about some resorts in Lenakel town.

Hey Rio... U know where's Air Vanuatu Office..?
Oh.. is it very near..?
Cool...

Friday 14:17

Good thing about Port Vila is that it’s a small city and almost all offices are just a walk away.

Do you have seats available for Tanna tomorrow and return on Sunday..?
Great.
Oh.. You give 20% discount for those who have flown in via Air Vanuatu..
Great...Yeah.. Please book it.

Friday 14:45

Hi.. Is it Vanuatu Hotels..?
I had already inquired about the Tanna Evergreen resort Garden view Sharing room.
Is it available.
Fine. Book me for tomorrow. checkout on sunday.
Are you running any discount..?
Oh okies.. 3800 vatus for a room.
Fine then... Please book one room for me.
Thanks...

Saturday 06:35

Taxis are a rip-off in Vanuatu, min 10$ for a short ride to Airport, so took a mini Bus from hotel. There are no shortages of buses here as everyone’s idea for investment is always a mini bus. Hopped in one and was there in airport in 10 mins. I checked in for my 8’o clock flight and was happy to see quite a few number of foreigners around. But a flight departed short time later to some island and I was the only foreigner left in the airport waiting for the 8’o clock flight to Tanna. Got little worried and checked my tickets again, whether I have booked the tickets correctly and have noted the time right. All was fine and they called for my flight shortly later.


Saturday 08:00


It was a Harbin and as expected I was the only foreigner in the whole flight. I was just seated behind the cockpit and could see all the dials and controls. I was getting little paranoiac. The Flight took off and we were immediately flying over the pacific.

We flew over islands with dense forests, rugged coastlines, no settlements visible whatsoever.





Saturday 08:43

After a short while we landed . The landing was rough. People started getting out and I also got out. But to my surprise it didn't look like a airport after all.
People were just standing near the flight and it wasn't a runway either. It was just the fields were cleared for a makeshift runway. I was looking for some board with my name on it from the resort people. But nothing. Everyone was looking at me. I ran to the pilot to check with him.

Hi.. Is it Tanna...
Oh... Thank god...
What island is this then..?
Erramango... oh... the next stop is ours...
Ahhhh. For one minute I thought this is Tanna...

Stopover at the Erramango Island: That's the Runway :)

















That's the check-in
















After unloading almost 400kgs of cargo and almost all other passengers we took off to Tanna.


Saturday 09:10


To my surprise the landing was very smooth and it looked like a proper airport but didn't see a single official though. I just walked out. My worries were gone after seeing the resort guy standing with a board having my name. Thank god.

... to be continued

4 comments:

Shakthi Varman said...

"Animatrix - Final Flight of the Osiris" range ku build up ! but the way you've written the experience is nice... hey apram oru nimisham Tamanna va pathi post oh nu nenachten :-P
Tanna photos enga da ?

sivaraman said...

part 2 & 3 coming soon... :)

Ana Roiter said...

Siva,
I am sooo jealous of you! You are staying and traveling around in such a beautiful place.

~K

sivaraman said...

Thats the only thing you get out of iflex :) :(