Roots and Leaves
25 August 2017
Having set the date and flogged many, many miles overnight in the pitch black and 25 knots the Roots Festival was something of a surprise. Not to mention disappointment.
While I didn't really know what the festival was about, what I'd pictured in my wee mind was us few yotties having the honour of spectating at a largish get together for the locals of Ambryn to celebrate their culture.
Instead, after a $20 USD back of the truck ride we were led to a small clearing in the bush with bamboo poles to park our bums on while the chief and his lackies meandered about, apparently puzzling over the agenda for the "production" making up prices as they went along. It was their equivalent of the West End. The price certainly was.
My understanding was the festival was for the local population to ensure the island culture is handed down the generations. However it seems the mighty tourist dollar has spoken and it's now an income stream and the youth, understandably, are more interested in making some cash than dancing around in the rain half naked.
They'd also advanced the start date by one day so most of the 15 or so boats that made the trip, missed day one.
Sitting around the edge of this muddy patch made me feel like a poor pink tourist off a cruise ship, wheeled into manufactured tourism so I bade farewell and sodded off back to the boat and I'll keep my £40 for something better.
Something of a disappointment for me, although I did get a nice wee kip and some boat jobs done, however, the good news is Anne got to see a bunch of blokes dancing around, "tackle out" as Captain Blackadder would say.