Let me paint a picture: nice, relaxing family holiday for dad’s 50th birthday a few years ago. We went to Vanuatu for a change, because we’d previously taken more than a few trips to Fiji. That turned out to be an error for a whole lot of reasons that included rotten accommodation and the worst case of food poisoning that I (and half the resort) have EVER experienced.
Anyway, the day before dad’s birthday, we’re relaxing in the pool. Dad, mum, me, husband (then boyfriend), one sister and her boyfriend. “Hey, dad,” I said. “Wanna know what your birthday present from me is for tomorrow?!” Yeah, sure, he says, probably expecting a nice pre-arranged hotel dinner. “I’m throwing you off a 50 metre waterfall! Excited?!” Cue blank stare from dad, horrified look from mum, hysterical laughter from me.
I wasn’t actually planning to throw dad off a waterfall, I love him very much. And he’s a pretty fit, very strong, adventurous kind of dad, which is awesome for me! So I explained to him we’d be taking a trip to the very beautiful Mele Cascades with the brilliant Edge Abseil Vanuatu group who were going to help us abseil down the cascades!
They provided our hotel transfers and a cutesy little walking tour around the cascades for mum, sister and her boyfriend, who aren’t really the physical adventure types. After a solid uphill ascent, we were greeted with a gorgeous view of Mele Bay and Efate Island. We got some 1-on-1 practice time on a small 8 metre cliff, and when the team judged us all ready, we made our way to the big one, 50 metres high.
We tackled this in two 25m abseils, which was great – it was really nice to pause half way and take stock of where we were and what we were actually doing. The second part took is right into the belly of the beast as you can see from the photo above, sending us literally through the water and down to the waiting pool of water below, where we sat and watched the rest of the group float down.
It was seriously an amazing experience, especially for people who think places like Vanuatu offer nothing but beaches and cocktails, and one that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone visiting Vanuatu – it’s not every day you get to abseil a waterfall!!