Best Day On Expedition | Music in the Solomons
2014, Noumea -Vanuatu – the Solomon Islands – Alotau
Submitted By: Charles Felix
One of our all-time favourite trips was a Coral Expeditions cruise that we took back in 2014. It started in Noumea and visited Vanuatu (including the Pentecost Island land divers), the Solomon Islands and ended in Alotau, PNG.
The entire trip was simply amazing but if we had to pick a favourite day of the trip it would have to be March 8th, 2014.
The day started with a “wet landing” at Ureparapara Island in Vanuatu. We immediately knew it was going to be a special day when we were greeted on the beach by a lively local band we dubbed the “Vanuatu Beach Boys”
We were then taken to a clearing just outside the village where groups of men and women in traditional dress presented some of their native songs and dances.
After that performance, we were led into a wooded area along a small stream for what was probably the highlight of the day. A small rock dam had been built to create a shallow pond where the village women do their laundry. The women had found that by cupping their hands and plunging them into the water they could create amazing percussion sounds of varying pitch and volume. They performed several songs that included vocal accompaniment.
We returned to the village where we wandered around and had and a chance to chat with the villagers. Before leaving, we were treated to another musical performance by band whose instruments consisted mostly of bamboo tubes.
We took a last stroll through the village and finally headed back to the ship for dinner and a good night’s rest.