Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mt Yasur

Apologies for being away so long. Although I just checked blog stats and it appears I get the same amount of hits whether I'm posting or not.

I have been slowly but surely managing to spend more time in the garden, and with a little bit of help it feels like it's getting back under control. It helps that the weather is perfectly springlike at the moment, with sun and the soil lovely and moist. We haven't actually had decent rain in a while so am wantingto get mulch on all the beds before it dries out anymore, in case we have a dry spring like last year.

But! I haven't finished with Vanuatu yet. The next photos are not gardening/food related at all, but was my highlight of our trip to Vanuatu. To stand on the edge of a live volcano has been on 'the list' for me, so we made the extra trip out to Tanna Island, which has Mt Yasur. Mt Yasur is one of the most consistently active, and accessible volcanos in the world.

This was our first view of Mt Yasur, as we drove to Port Resolution where we were staying.

With the local children playing soccer on the ash plain.

The local utes can drive up the other side of the mountain, to within about 150m of the top. Here's Alex on the path to the crater. Afterwards, as we were waiting in our ute for the last person to come down the mountain some lava 'bombs' about the size of a moon hopper landed on this path. I was glad the children were in the ute then. To put it mildly.
We arrived on dusk, as it is most spectacular when it gets dark. The first time it rumbled and sent up clouds of ash and lava when we were standing on the crater made my heart beat very fast. It was erupting every 2-5 minutes.
Here's the family watching (with a random stranger), Mike looking slightly worried.

As it got dark it became more spectacular. Shortly after this they decided it was safe enough to go closer (!) and let us look right down into the crater where you could see the lava boiling up. Then there were a couple of bigger explosions and I took several involuntary steps backwards and the guides started shouting for everyone to go back. 

Highly highly reccommended. An experience that is truly Awesome. If not exactly safe. I'm very grateful that the children did not get hurt. You would certainly not be allowed anywhere near something like this in NZ. 

Alex gave a talk to his class on the volcano when we got back. I'm not sure what he said, or how he said it, but for several weeks afterwards I had parents telling me that their children had been requesting a trip to Vanuatu.

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