by Nikki Savvides in Cool Travel on Tuesday 11 August 2009

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Vanuatu, a small cluster of islands north east of Australia. There my friend and I spent time exploring the coral reefs of the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area, home to hundreds of thousands of brilliantly colored fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, sting rays and other fascinating underwater critters. We also spent time hiking through the lush jungle, its volcanic soils so rich that even fallen branches and fence posts were alive with greenery. The small islands of Nguna and Moso, where we stayed, are blissfully remote. Housed in bungalows fashioned from branches, bark and bamboo and fed on traditional island food we learnt the true meaning of relaxation. Without electricity, privy to the rise and fall of the sun and moon time became meaningless. Only the immediacy of our surroundings and the glory of nature mattered.