Mt. Yasur

Standing at the rim of an active volcano is terrifying. Earth seems completely alive, vindictive and grumbling and explosive, like at any moment a dragon or a slew of enraged gods would appear and throw any onlooker into their hellish bowl of gurgling, molten tomato soup.

Our first look out point was a few meters away from the edge, where we could hear the noise and see the smoke and only imagine what horrors quaked in the center of the caldera. Then from the rim, we could see into the crater. There were three vents, one that flamed continuously and two that erupted with great drama every 15 minutes.

Our guides allowed us 20 minutes at our second location, as the air-borne lava was falling perilously close!

(Brevity here because our current cafe in Port Vila is adorable, the sun setting, and connectivity is tenuous—full description of the Mt. Yasur experience will have to wait for the memoir.)