6am after a night of broken sleep, single bed + Mozzie net = restrictions! Throughout the night I could hear the ocean and the occasional sound of thunder, which was actually the volcano. At about 4am the rooster began cock-a-doodle-doing, bloody thing, so as soon as it was light I got up and sat on the porch. We had hoped to do the Jon Frum Cargo Cult Village the previous evening but it never happened, we had the volcano visit booked for the evening, but what we would do today?
After a shower and a severe washing of the straw type hair from all,the dust and ash, Breakfast was 7:30am and then it was off along the beach to check it out. Among the rocks some locals were busy doing their washing in the rock pools, the kids just hung around, some where fishing, others swimming, others just hanging out. There were goats tied up on the grass verge and dogs soaking up to sun. We killed an hour then went had a cuppa at the restaurant and asked if we could see the library. We were directed to 3 French children’s books, a German novel and a children’s book about Bella Sara the flying horse, we just looked at each other and laughed. Eventually another small pile of books came out, not much better but possible bad reading material, so we choose something and headed back to our hut! We had said we wanted to visit the cultural village and kustam dancing, but heard nothing. We sat on the porch with very bad reading material from the so called library all day, with intermittent attempts at arrow words and sudoku – yes we are living on the edge! There was really nothing to do and we were so remote there was no where to walk. Food was so ridiculously priced, so we got our supplies out. Sarah had Tuna, I had cold beans out of the tin. The prized bread we had bought had through the course of the night been a feast for mice, which confirmed my suspicions of “is that mouse crap on the bed next to me where all my things are thrown!” Don’t like the idea of mice running around while I sleep, but this is it for a while! Sarah did brave the untouched end! We had some crisps as well so we munched down. Before a bit of time on our puzzle books, more bad reading material and the odd snooze for me! While I hate mice, Sarah hates spiders so it was somewhat amusing when we had to relocate the spider building a web over Sarah’s bed, mice in my half spiders in hers, irony!
3:30pm finally arrived and we headed off to the volcano, Mt Yasur. As we travelled to the volcano we discussed our plans for the next day. As we had left we were told 9am start for cultural village, only to be told the village will be at church, let’s see what we can do. We told them we didn’t want to impact on the lives of local people and they needed to go to church if that’s what they did. Basically organizationally this place is a shambles and so remote you are trapped in the expense that is the shambles. We asked if we could call Air Vanuatu to see if we could get on a flight the next day, but we couldn’t get hold of them, too late today.
Anyway as we approached the volcano and we heard the rumbles and big clouds of ash and smoke bellowing out of the top, we thought we would leave the tomorrow discussion till then. We parked up and then had to walk up the side, for part of the climb there is a concrete ramp and hand rails, but then as you head towards the rim it’s just a case of stepping over the clumps of solid cold lava that has been spat out. The first time you see the eruption it’s pretty special, we soon realized that our first experience was just a baby burb for the Mt, because when a biggy came there where a few expletives and concern about being hit by the hot lava as it came down. The smell and taste of sulphur was quite over powering, not particularly pleasant, but when you are stood on the rim of an active volcano who cares, it’s an amazing experience. We arrived just before dark so we got to see the amazing lines within the crater, the smoke coming of the sides and the odd eruption of lava, but as night came it became so much more spectacular, huge thuds and fire that just shot up into the air before raining down. It’s an experience that is hard to put into words, the constant churning and erupting, the earth doing what it does, wow really. We watched for quite some time before heading back for dinner. It was literally dinner, few beers and bed!