The truck skidded and slid and we made our way up one of the more driven “roads” in Tanna Vanuatu as we headed for the World’s Largest Banyan Tree. Passing the thatch roofed and bamboo walled huts we clung for dear life being bumped and bounced around the back of the island doctors dust covered pickup. They let us borrow their vehicle but they might have changed their minds if they saw dads off road driving. We had their son Eric with us who had gone to the banyan tree before, but he laughed as he exclaimed that this was a much more “exciting” trip up.
Once we reached the top in one piece (and slightly bruised bottoms) we all piled out and headed down the trail with one of the locals down a steep trail with wonderful tropical gardens on both sides. As we came to the entrance of the tree we had to walk for a few minutes to realize how truly enormous this One Tree Jungle was.
We learned a banyan tree grows and spreads out by sending vines down from high up branches to the ground for support and to become a whole new tree trunk. Once we made our way to the far sides and corners of the banyan we instantly started to climb and weave our way up to the top. No one missed out on a chance to play on the worlds most natural jungle gym. After my first climb to the top, five year old Teyauna was VERY insistent that she was big enough to climb the tree. Finally after ten minutes of endless torment I relented and helped her climb half way up were Jaeden offered to take her the rest of the way. Mom and Dad declined this offer and said she had to come down before she injured herself. Once you reached the top you could look down hundreds of feet to the bottom of the tree, getting down was the easy (for some people) part, as you could slide down thick strait branches by 5 foot increments all the way down. Mom on the other hand tried to come down into the thickest part of the forest ending in a short and painful death… to her bad climbing plans.
Soon we all packed up and got about 1000 pictures before we all hiked up to the car and bumped along for our scenic drive home.