After having dived the day before, I walked to the Mele cascades, to find the gate closed. When I looked into the compound, I saw well-marked paths and maintained gardens, and thought I had not missed a thing. The next day was another hot day - the very last day of a long trip around the Pacific. I had to arrange some things in town, and when I was done, I decided going to the cascades would be a good idea after all. A half hour ride in one of the many minivans took me back to the entrance, I changed into swimwear, and started walking the path which I had seen the day before. At the beginning, everything looks very well maintained, almost too much so - there is even a cafe built right over the small river - but after a while, it does fortunately become a little more natural.
At several points, you have to cross the small river that runs down the cascades, and there are ropes providing for support if needed. Natural steps in the rocks facilitate walking up, and you go past several pools with water running down the rocks that, surprisingly, are not slippery. You hear the tallest waterfall in the distance, and get a good final view of pools, cascades, and the water tumbling down a vertical slope. There are actually two pools at the highest point, making for a different experience. The one on the left is relatively calm: water runs down moss-covered rocky face, you can walk around the pools, through one of the falls, to enter a small cave behind it. The second one is a little wilder; water comes down with force, creating a small spray, and when you stand under it, it really hits your head and body.
Since I had come to cool off, I ended up sitting as long in the wilder pool as it took to actually shiver a little bit, after which I went out and warmed up in the tropical air. Looking back from here, into the small valley, I realized I was surrounded by lush vegetation. I then spent some time sitting in one of the many cascades, with the water running down on all sides. It was more quiet than I had expected, with only a few visitors. Having had achieved what I came for, cooling off in the fresh water of the cascades and waterfall, I stayed longer than planned, just soaking in the peace of the falling water and the chirping of birds, when it was time to head down again.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Mele Cascades (Vanuatu). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Mele Cascades.
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