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Vanuatu: Mele Cascades

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Mele Cascades | Vanuatu | Oceania

[Visited: December 2012]

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.

Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Cool down in one of these pools at Mele cascades

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.

Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Waterfall and pool at the very top of the cascades

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.

Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): View from the top of the cascades into the valley
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Cascades and terraced pools: that is what Mele is all about
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): The top of Mele cascades has more wonderful pools
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Water coming down the steep cliffs covered by mosses
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): The tall waterfall coming down over the mossy rocks at the end of the cascades
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Ready for a dip? One of the many pools of Mele cascades
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Water rushing down over one of the boulders of Mele cascades
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): Water cascading down into one of the pools of Mele Cascades
Picture of Mele Cascades (Vanuatu): One of the many cascades at Mele

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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