Eton Blue Lagoon is a "blue hole," a lagoon fed by a natural underwater spring and at high tide, with saltwater through an opening to the ocean. It's a short drive from Port Vila through the jungle and the price for the ride changes depending on who's negotiating, but for the three passengers in my bus, it was more than 5000 Vatu (around $45). Entrance to the lagoon is 500 or 600 Vatu, depending on where you go in (better photos for the extra 100).

 The road to Eton

The road to Eton

 Coconut palms

Coconut palms

 Dry Creek Beach

Dry Creek Beach

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 Eton Beach

Eton Beach

At the lagoon, a group of guys from the local village take entrance fees, deal with the flush toilets (amazing they're flush toilets with no plumbing), and keep the array of chairs and tables for lounging in really good order. They also supervise and remind the out of shape ex-pat visitors how to use their bodies.

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There are three rope swings of varying height and difficulty: tourist death traps. Here's a video of the easy swing.

There is also an amazing network of banyan tree limbs, weaving over the turquoise waters.

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The climbing route up the trees is slick and well worn. This latter option, the tree climbing option, didn't appear to be on offer for many visitors.  But one of the "supervisors" took a liking to the fact I was alone and had a crazy desire to back flop repeatedly from the high swing. He made me jump a final time, "then we'll climb the tree."  He spoke with the matter-of-factlyness of someone who had successfully coaxed hundreds of bikini-clad women into doing things they probably shouldn't. I lifted myself out of the water and started climbing. I eventually, after ten feet or so, got stuck. I looked around. All next moves looked very dicey. The roughness of the bark had been worn away and my bathing suit was dripping, so the branches were totally polished. Then, he was behind me. He pointed to a branch over my head, behind me that I hadn't seen. And he stayed there with me, and pushed me higher and higher up the tree, to the point where I had the thought, "this is like totally onsight free soloing right now," and every time I hesitated, there he was behind me: "C'mon, Allyson, c'mon." If I hesitated too long, he showed me my next move. "Ah, you go up there. Grab this branch over here and put your left foot here," and out of nowhere a previously obscured branch would appear. "C'mon, Allyson, c'mon." For those close to me, it's well-known that I don't have good history with trees since that time in New Zealand in 2006 when I launched myself out of a pohutakawa tree onto a beach, broke multiple bones requiring two surgeries, and ended up in the hospital for one week. "C'mon, Allyson, c'mon." Higher and higher on the slick branches we went, a tangle of limbs and the beautiful turquoise water below us. Man, I wish I could take this guy to Yosemite! He would make me climb anything.

And then, "Okay, now jump. Jump. Right there." He pointed to an opening between a few branches. It was a pretty small opening. You wouldn't want to lean too far either way or you'd snag bark on your skin on your way down. Hm. How far were we from town?  "Jump."

And I did. And I hit the soft, sandy bottom of the blue lagoon! Thank you, blue lagoon guy, for showing me how to climb trees again.