Abseiling the Cascades - Vanuatu
The Mele Cascades Waterfalls are quite spectacular and can be reached by a short walk from the car park area however for a truly unique experience you should try abseiling.
We were fitted with our harness and helmet and after a pretty steep 30 minute walk through scenic bush where I was the weakest link in the group, we reached the top of the falls and shown the ropes. Literally. One on one tuition is given at the practice site which is an 8metre cliff ending in a swimming hole with its own waterfall. Abseiling is not difficult although my technique left a lot to be desired. I quickly learnt you have to remember to walk down the cliff at the same time as releasing your rope or you end up upside down and swinging. Once you have mastered the basics it is on to the main event, a 50 metre waterfall broken into two 25metre abseils. On the first abseil you remain relatively dry however the second abseil is through and under the waterfalls and ends in chest deep water so you do get very wet. This is actually a relief as it is so hot. The waterfalls and pools are crystal clear and gorgeous and you have time after the abseil to enjoy the area.
I had thought it was going to be just another waterfall but they were truly stunning. I don’t have a fear of heights but when I stepped back off the cliff with only a thin rope to hold on to I do confess to thoughts of “what on earth am I doing?” Would I do it again? Absolutely, although I did recommend they offer an optional helicopter ride to the top of the falls!