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Posts posted by Tropicalshowers

  1. Thanks, Tropicalshowers, looking forward to shopping for vanilla beans!

    How are they priced - by the bean or by weight? How much $$? Can you get them in supermarkets, market stalls?

    What about the coffee?

    Would be grateful for any info, thanks again


    Hi again acdc.

    Firstly the vanilla beans. When we were at Lifou in the little market at the wharf, they were sold in plastic zip bags for about $A5 per bean. The P&O tour co-ordinator noticed my hubby checking out all the herbs & spices & said not to buy them as we would get them as part of our tour to the Cliffs of Jokin. Which we did.

    When in Villa we saw them at Au Peche Mignon (Pastry shop... worth a look if you haven't already put on 10 kgs!!). Don't recollect the price. No doubt they could be bought in any supermarket in Villa as well. We never had time to visit the food markets in Villa, but I'm sure you would find them there too.


    I bought the coffee at Au Bon Marche Supermarket (near the town markets) for about 450 vt...haven't got the outside packaging but feel it was about 200grams. The coffee came in various sizes and I bought the smallest. Also saw it in another touristy type shop in foil packaging (more glamorous!)and in different flavours...vanilla etc. but don't recall the price. No doubt it would be a little more pricey.


    Hope that helps! Have fun!

  2. Yep, coffee and vanilla beans sound good -

    I'm surprised they let you bring in the beans - I suppose they are processed?


    Hi acdc,

    The beans are picked and dried before they are ripe, hence the seed is not mature enough to propogate. Of those we didn't give away, my DH cut one in two lengthways, and has scented our sugar...the others are in an airtight bag and should keep for at least 5 Years! (Being a chef I'm taking his word for it..)


  3. Hi all going on R638 & those concerned about customs.


    A couple of ideas for unusual gifts, all of which we were able to bring back through customs.


    We bought Tanna Coffee (a decent drop too I might add!).


    Vanilla Beans that we were given on our tour in Lifou (& can be bought in Villa).


    Necklaces made out of carved sea urchin spine....good present for kids, at the markets in Villa & very cheap.


    Also, just a hint, we put all our customs stuff in a backpack and the customs guy said it was great to see everything in the one spot as it made the process quicker for everyone.....it's good to keep them happy!


    Have a good one!


    Other thing I reckon is a must if you have room is some sort of li-low (sp?) for snorkelling. We took a pool hammack (what a hassle) but it was the best thing ever. Two people could lay across it and float above the coral. In lifou I went over coral I never could have swum over becuase it was about 5 inches below the water level.


    Great idea. We use the pool noodles (?) when snorkling on the reef here, but although light-weight, they would take up a lot of luggage space. I would think anything inflatable (even a child's swim ring...no, not in one, on one;) ) would work well.


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