Travel – An Awesome Experience

Awesome 3Awesome is a word used quite liberally these days to describe almost any type of experience or happening. But from now on I have vowed to use the word sparingly.

Mt Yasur is an active volcano located at the Eastern end of Vanuatu’s Tanna Island. To reach the mountain requires a torturous two and a half hour drive through the jungle in a 4WD vehicle where low ratio first gear is the choice for much of the journey.

Awesome 4From a distance you can see the mountain blowing out clouds of what appears to be smoke and steam. As you approach closer, the jungle changes to a moonscape of lava, ash and boulders.

At one point on the mountain you can actually drive to within 200 metres of the volcano lip. Although it is a difficult trek, the steep climb to the rim through the soft ash is well worth the effort. When you reach the top and peer down into the crater through the haze of sulphurous gases and ash filled dark clouds, you can start to gauge the enormity of where you are.

You choose your location to ensure you have the wind blowing from behind you to protect yourself as best you can from the gases and the occasional flying rocks.

Awesome 5Here is Mother Earth groaning, moaning and exploding as she releases pressure from deep within her molten core. There are bubbling sounds from her bowels that give way to eruptions every few minutes. These shake the unsteady ground you stand on.

As night falls the eruptions explode within a bright red fiery curtain that provides you with a natural fireworks display like no other you have ever seen. Blazing red rocks fly from the molten melting pot to drop on the landscape around the crater. The spitting lava then drops back into the bubbling cauldron where it waits for the next eruption to once again vomit its contents skywards.

Now this whole scene I can honestly describe as AWESOME!

Peter Mack.

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