Notes about visiting the live volcano Yassur on Tanna Island. It’s very difficult to get any sense in the photos but it’s actually terrifying. You can hear the rumbles from a decent distance away, sounds like thunder or something. Up close it’s a whole other beast: there’s a crazy pressure wave that precedes both the sound and (it almost seems) the vision. Your ears pop then the ground shakes and then everything shakes and there are giant lumps of molten rock flying through the air. The lumps seem to float because of the updraft, which makes them seem harmless until you hear them hitting the ground again with a wet thump. It stinks of sulphur – everyone was coughing. I wish I’d taken a photo of the setup (battery issues) because it was so sketchy, I can’t believe they let us get so close, it was super windy and the pressure of the eruptions was pushing people around and it’s essentially a cliff edge you have to peer over to get a look at the magma.
It was amazing and singular and the only bummer was that the battery on my camera ran out.