My husband and I just got back from an awesome week in Vanuatu.  The main reason we went there was to see "the world's most accessible active volcano" Mt Yassur on the island of Tanna.  Yeah we've seen volcanos before and tend to enjoy travelling in geothermal areas but our experience with this volcano was beyond anything we've seen before.

To get to the volcano we were driven1.5 hours on a rough dirt track to the remote area of this already remote island.  We got there at dusk, just in time to take the amazing views from the front of the volcano.  We got out of the car for a few minutes and could hear booms in the background as ash would occasionally blow through.   Then we had another 10 minute drive up the back of side of the volcano.  The road we drove up had steaming venting out in some places and other places were covered with ferns and trees.  It was an interesting contrast between the ash and plant life.

The very distinct start of the volcano
We got to the parking area and had a short 100 meter hike straight up onto the cradle of the volcano.  From there we could start to see giant chunks of lava shoot up in the air.  Our guide had us stay put for a few minutes while he watched the volcano to see what it was doing.  I saw some crazy people standing up on the rim and said wow, I'm glad we're not up there.  Then of course our guide said let's hike up to the rim!  We got to the top just as the sun was setting.

As darkness fell the show got even more spectacular.  The first time we heard what sounded like exploding fireworks I almost peed my pants.  I don't think any of us had really realized what kind of show we were in for.  You could feel the booms through your toes and the red lava sprayed through the air like a fire hose.  It was such a humbling feeling to watch this nature show and think about what could happen if we weren't lucky.
Eruption at dusk

Fortunately the volcanic activity remained relatively 'calm' and other than a few heart palpitations and taking a shower in ash we descended from the rim unharmed.  We watched the volcano for a little while longer and then happily headed back to the resort.

Zoomed in
We truly enjoyed the experience, it was an amazing sight that very few people get to witness.  We were still cleaning ash out of our ears three days later, but the feeling of intensity standing so close to an active volcano will last much longer.

Happy tourists
And now humour me by enjoying some more pictures -

See those people standing on the rim?  That's where we were!


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