“Look, look, look!!! Can you see it? Can you see it?”
Chris was furiously pointing his hand into the sky. We were sitting on black volcanic sand in a patch of shade eating our lunch of peanut butter and crackers. Although we were about a mile away from the volcano, we could feel the shock wave, followed by the boom, followed by large debris shooting hundreds of feet into the air, followed by Chris’s flailing arm pointing at the sky. With our heads tilted back and mouths open, we watched the chunks of mountain fall back into the rim of the volcano. Shaking our heads we smiled as we finished our lunch, the edge of the rim was where we would be in a few hours.
On the southern island of Tanna, in the country of Vanuatu, lays Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most easily accessible volcanoes. Known as the “Light House” of the Pacific, it has more or less had continuous activity since Captain Cook first observed the volcano in 1774.
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, to reach Yasur most people fly into Tanna and spend several hours crossing the island in some form of 4WD transportation. It can be done in a day, but we opted to stay in several spots around Tanna and spent two nights camped at the base of the volcano. We enjoyed the illuminating lava lights as we ate our dinner and fell asleep in our tent atop the soft, black sand to the rumblings of an ancient volcano.
Map courtesy of world atlas.
Driving across the volcano flats. This was the road.
Off to find lunch spot.