S.W. Bay (Lembinwin) to Dixon Reef
MALEKULA HIKING TRAIL

Distance: 14.48 miles

Difficulty:  Difficult

The distance is killer and the lack of villages where you can stop between these two points are minimal, though they do exist.  Also if darkness starts to come your best bet is probably to take a few photos of the sunset and start to make camp along a beach.  We ended up getting a late start in Lembinwin, and then after being told constantly we would be able to make it before "san i draon," (sunset) we found ourself navigating bamboo bay by headlamp.

After Lembinwin you have to cross the mouth of a lagoon, but you can get someone to ferry you aross.  Then you will pass a very modern and fancy house, which is apparently owned by a New Zealander trying to sell beef.  It is a weird sight after 5 days walking, but it looks pretty cool all the same.

The route is completely unmarked, but I thought I would write about it.  It is really unspoiled terrain, with few people around.  It mainly follows the coast, and has trails that cut off the points where at high tide it is too difficult to wade.  These were pretty steep and slippery to navigate.  After a heavy rain you couldn't attempt it.  Also since the trail isn't marked, you could miss them (maybe in the future).  You never want to be in the bush for longer than an hour really on this hike.  If you find yourself in this predicament you made a wrong turn and are now in a maze of garden trails with a very small poplulation around to help you.  You may see some fisherman along the coast and can ask their advice.

Also climbing around the rocks on the coast can be tricky.  Scrambling over sharp rocks in beach footwear is not that fun, and any cut on the bottom of your foot will be an unfortunate malady.  Of course, you could wear sturdier footwear than the pair of 7 dollar sandals I employed.  You may find yourself clinging above the ocean on some of these sharp outcroppings, so go slow, it can get slippery.

This makes it a very long walk.  Of course, we got lost once, but even with that delay because of the rocks and small ups and downs it will probably take at least 6 or 7 hours.  It took us 9 and a half all rests and getting lost included. 

Lastly, the mosquitos here are plentiful.  At sunset as we were walking down our last sand beach, you could turn around and see them aiming at your head.  Mosquitos are the most dangerous animal in Vanuatu, so please be cautious!!!  But yes...it did look nice eh?