This sizeable island lies around 50 mins flight due south of the capital, Port Vila. Mount Yasur is named for the volcano god and is one of those rare active volcanoes that puts on a pyrotechnical show around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with only occasional catastrophic eruptions causing damage to surrounding villages. Its activity is carefully monitored by the locals who decide when the activity passes the danger point from Level 2 to a Level 3, unsafe to approach, standard. About 25 years ago three people, a tourist and two local guides, were killed by flying debris so, like all things to do with with Mother Earth, predictability is never guaranteed.
|Local kids sing a welcome to the visitors passing through their tiny village.|
|Once over the backbone of the island we stopped to get a good panoramic view back north up the east coast of Tanna.|
Some tourists simply fly in from Vila on a day trip - we stayed two nights at White Grass Ocean Resort which is only two kilometres from the airport. We left in the early afternoon on our Volcano Tour, driven in a 4WD by an extremely knowledgeable Tanna local named Phillip. He filled us in about many aspects of life in Tanna on the way to the volcano, proceeding through numerous villages made up of huts constructed from bamboo and coconut leaves. On the way we stopped at one of the villages where, by prior arrangement, an adorable group of children had been assembled and were waiting to regale us with some songs and present us with flowers. It was their way of supplementing their meagre income and brought us great delight as well as photo opportunities.
|This is taken from the same vantage point as the shot above, but looking due south. |
Mt Yasur and its ash plain clearly visible to the left and a larger, older extinct volcano extreme right.
For us one big highlight was the ash plain - a vast, desolate area spreading down the sides of Yasur and into the jungle for several kilometres. A lot of the wind-borne ash gets dumped here leaving behind quite an eerie landscape amidst an otherwise incredibly verdant jungle backdrop.
|A beautiful light illuminating the back of the Yasur cinder cone and the jungle in the distance. |
Snapped, literally, from the car park on the final walk to the summit.
FujiFilm XT-1, 18-55mm lens. ISO 200.