Apart from the island of Tanna being one of the shortest passages to Vanuatu from New Caledonia, the main reason we chose Tanna as our destination, was its volcano, Mt. Yasur. Mt. Yasur is an active volcano and is accessible by 4WD followed by a short climb. Many of our rally yachts had already visited, some chose to sail straight to Vila. Perhaps they were worried about black ash on their decks. We were lucky. SE trade winds, a quiet Port Resolution and thus no ash was sighted in our bay.
It certainly was an experience. Our driver John and guide Stanley dropped us at the elaborate Mt. Yasur entrance. We changed in to … aghhhh … long pants and shoes … what are they??!! We had been warned that it was cold up the top. We couldn’t quite get that knowing that hot molten lava and steam would be spurting out from the volcano’s crater. Anyway, we did take mum’s beanies, just in case. It’s quite weird driving through thick lush jungle before the ash crater finally revealed itself.
We then climbed Yasur’s short hill to see the volcano’s edge. As we approached we could hear the roar. Quite a sight. We were taken to two different viewing points around the crater rim and as darkness set in, the clarity of the spewing lava was so much more captivating. There were times when the earth certainly moved. What was also amazing, was there were no rails and fences. At one stage a guide drew a line in the ash sand indicating we should not cross it. Wouldn’t happen at home!
Knowing that hot molten lava has made its way to us from the centre of the earth gives new meaning to the overused word “awesome” … a Neville quote.
Mt. Yasur will certainly be remembered. Here’s a few more pics …