Areuv Bridge to Hokai

MALEKULA HIKING TRIAL 

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

This trail starts out at one of the only metal bridges on the island.  It is pretty cool actually.  Although they could use a few more, especially across the mighty Pankumu, which when it rains cuts off truck service to Lakatoro...but that is another story. 

This is a typical Malekula trail, and a good test to see if you are going to enjoy most of the walks or would rather take a boat.  It is a good five mile test.  The trail is marked loosely, but it is well used and fairly straight.  At the beginning there is the option of walking close to the water or to take a trail that goes up a bit.  If it has rained the trail on top is the only option.  Both will end up at the same place.

The road goes past a large stand of bamboo, which is interesting to see if you haven't before.  Our guide liked to point out that a lot of folks have died along this road, because it was the quickest way for the people of Hokai to bring folks to the hospital.  Sometimes the road was just too long. 

At times this trail is very wide because it was at one time cut back for truck use, but due to lack of maintenence it is badly overgrown and trucks can no longer pass.  There is a small stream/river at almost exactly the half way point 2.5 miles in.  I've seen folks go up the stream a bit and drink the water, but it is better to carry your own or at least sanitize it first (boiling, iodine, etc.).

After the stream it gets really muddy.  After a big rain it can be calf deep at points.  There is a small cut off, off the main grassy road that is a little bit better to avoid the large pools of water that can accumulate.  Because of the water there are a lot...A LOT...of mosquitos on this trail all the time.  Malaria is found on Malekula and it should have already been noted that you should not attempt to come without Malaria medication.

After slogging through the mud you will come to the Hokai (pronounced "Hawk-Eye") village gardens and coconut plantations.  Here the trails harden up a bit.  Once you come though to the beach at Hokai you will be rewarded for all your troubles with an amazing view of the ocean.  Relax, enjoy some Kava and the wonderful view!