Last week I needed to get to town to pick up my car from the mechanic.


Because we live out of town on a road that goes nowhere past us except to a few farms, it's not exactly a main highway!


In fact, it's frequently happens that not one vehicle goes past in several hours. And because it's a gated estate, buses don't bother even coming to the gate unless they already have a passenger wanting to go there.


So after a previous "very long walk" experience, I learned to set up a lift with one of the neighbours if I need to get to town.


Thus I sent a broadcast message to our estate resident's WhatsApp group, and behold! our immediate neighbour responded with an offer.


However, they don't actually have a car. They have motor bikes, buggies, quad bikes. Yes, in Vanuatu buggies and quadbikes can be registered to drive on the road.


So I was about to have my first "buggy ride" in many many years, since we sold our VW beach buggy back in the 1970's.


This buggy however was a different beast altogether. Much smaller, with what sounded like a muffler-less lawnmower engine, and a digital dashboard.


And no actual windscreen... or doors... or seat belts (Ack!)


My neighbour's daughter had asked where I wanted to go, since the driver would be her father whose only fluent language is Russian. And she added "Bring sunglasses; it can get dusty in the buggy."


I am here to tell you: it did not get dusty.


When the time came, the dad tooted at my gate, and I hopped in. It was raining lightly.


Although I mentioned above this buggy did not have an "actual windscreen" it did have a sort of "upper half" in perspex, which probably was designed to halt rocks thrown up from the buggy in front and aimed at your head.


The lower half was open.


So it was raining "lightly" when we left. But by the time we reached our destination it had been raining "mediumly" and even "heavily" on occasion.


So I arrived soaked to the skin. Just as well this is the tropics and so I was not too cold.


Lessons: when acepting a ride in an unknown device, be prepared with rain protection. (!)


More lessons, more particularly for you: Vanuatu is a much more free country than most. If you wish, you can drive a little off-road buggy around as your main means of transportation. Seat belts are recommended, but optional.


If you'd like a taste of that freedom, book a consultation to discuss your options for purchased citizenship or residency here: https∶//


Lance (wet) in Vanuatu


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