Take me to the turtles

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23rd December, the morning of Lifou was a rushed one as we slept in. Whoops.

You can’t help but ooh and aaah at the stunning pixels of colour in the water as you travel over to Lifou Island. This is what I took this trip for. These are the moments that will burn into my consciousness to remind me that I have indeed lived my life, finally.

We saw turtles from the tender boats on the way to the island, which told me today was going to be a good one. All I wanted to see this whole trip was turtles in the wild and this was finally fulfilled.

We were again greeted with dancers which I always love. Braiding stalls galore as well as snorkel stalls and food stalls, which we made use of on our way back to the tender boats.

The island of Lifou is so pristine and beautiful. At every turn there is something beautiful to behold. There are natural huts and locals ready to give you a flower or two.

At the end of the road leaving the markets you will find signs pointing to Jinek Bay and Cave. Don’t pay attention to the part that says it’s a 5 minute walk to Jinek Bay where the snorkelling is. I would say its more like a 15-20 minute walk, especially with kids in tow.

Lifou islandWalk to Jinek BayJinek Bay 2Jinek Bay

The snorkelling at Jinek Bay didn’t compare to Duck Island but it was still beautiful and even had some giant clams to see too. I didn’t see any turtles on this side of the island though.

Did you know that wearing sunscreen can damage coral reefs? You can buy coral safe sunscreen or go without. Watch Chasing Coral for more information on the state of our coral reefs in the world today.

We then walked to the Cave, again ignore the signs as this was more like another 15-20 minute walk. So if you are walking from Jinek Bay to the cave it’s trek, all be it one that made it totally worth it. It cost us $10 per adult and $5 per child to enter the cave. The walk down to the cave is not for anyone who doesn’t have very good stability I would say as it gets very steep at some points, however, there are ropes to balance yourself so I would never say never.

Walking to Lifou caveLifou caveLifou cave

The cave when you arrive is very dark, and the water is apparently 25 metres deep. Everyone said it was really chilled but I found the water to be the same temperature as the pool on the cruise ship. It was a very tense moment watching my son jump into that water as he is not the most confident swimmer. I was on edge every time he jumped.

With some convincing one of the locals managed to get my daughter to braid her hair with me. Listening to them talk I had to giggle as I picked up that my hair was tiny and my daughters hair was knotty. After my daughter and I had our hair braided we were treated to a turtle lounging around in the water just below us while we waited for our tender ship to take us back to the boat. You can swim on this side as well, which I was tempted to jump off the jetty to be near the turtles but I didn’t. Some of the locals had no qualms in jumping off though. Perhaps next time I will join in.

Tomorrow we are off to Port Vila

Xo S

Lifou hair braiding

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