Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Honeymoon Day 1, Tanna and Mt Yasur

I flew into Port Vila, Vanuatu late on a Friday night to meet Inspector Climate for our honeymoon. The next morning I woke up to this view outside our hotel room. Oh Hello, Vanuatu.

One of the Vanuatu locals that Inspector Climate had met on a different work trip and told him that we HAD to fly over to Tanna, one of Vanuatu's southern islands, and go to the top of Mt Yasur, an active volcano. I've always had a love of all things geological and so I knew it was something we must do.  We did a bit of research and decided to go with Unity Airlines who offer overnight tours of the volcano.

To get to the Tanna, we had to fly in a ten seater plane.  Which was obviously a good opportunity to be a bit silly.  And we never miss a opportunity for silliness (It's in our vows).

Once we landed, we had a brief minute to put on some bug spray (Tanna has had cases of Malaria) and some long sleeves and jump into a truck to take us up the volcano.  It was a long drive and outrageously bumpy, but incredibly beautiful.  We drove through little villages of thatched roofed (roofed? Really? Rooved?) houses.  They all had little gardens with fruit trees (bananas? Mangoes? Anyone?) and small fields with corn and other things growing everywhere. Not to mention free range chickens, pigs and cows wandering about along the road.

After about an hour we arrived at what Inspector Climate and I took to calling "the moon."  It was an ash field that lay at the foot of the volcano (pictured behind us).  I expected the ash to be really fine between my fingers, but it was actually quite coarse like sand. (I may look like I'm in pajamas...but I swear those are linen pajamas pants)

The volcano was shrouded in clouds and steam.  We were sitting in back of the pick up truck on some "cushioned" bench seats (bumpy!), but it was so cool to watch steam coming out of the road as we drove up and up and up!

I wish I could have taken a photograph that actually encapsulated what it felt like to standing on the rim of a volcano. However, none of them came out very well.  The weather left this giant cloud of steam and occasionally sulphur just hovering over the volcano which made it impossible to capture the size of the volcano.  While we were up there, for nearly an hour or more (my watch broke prior to this trip), we could hear the bubbling and gurgling of the volcano and occasionally there would be a big eruption and we could see red sparks flying up from the depths of the cloud.

It was a completely indescribable experience.   It was magical to feel the wind whipping around the volcano, the only downside was the incredibly pungent, sulphur smells like rotten eggs and while the scenery was breathtaking the smell was certainly a bit overwhelming as well (breathcatching? breathstifling?).

After a long drive back, in the back of the truck, Inspector Climate and I returned to our hotel in Tanna called Evergreen for a late dinner (well late for me, dinner past about 7 is late for me. Sad but true).  For Inspector Climate, it was the best meal he'd had the whole time he was Vanuatu. He had local fish cooked in a banana leaf with vegetables and rice.  I had just the vegetables and rice (success, the gluten free vegetarian had food to eat too!).

We spent the night under this mosquito netting in a small little cottage (can it be a cottage sans kitchen?)

Again, Inspector Climate using every opportunity to be silly:

I'd like to thank Unity Airlines for giving us a discount on this trip because of this blog.  It was an absolute pleasure to fly with them and be part of their tour and I'd highly recommend them to anyone who is planning a trip to Vanuatu.  You cannot go to Vanuatu without going to Mt Yasur, I didn't write the rules, btiches.


  1. i remember visiting a volcano in hawaii and yes, there is definitely a pungent smell going on there :)
    sounds fantastic, and glad you were able to eat!

  2. I hate that the camera can never quite capture what I see--at least with my amateur photography skills. That said, the trip up to the volcano looks quite magical. I hope the rest of the honeymoon is just as wonderful!

  3. Haha, this looks amazing...except for maybe the mosquito netting part. 'Hope you had fun!

  4. it's always fun to take silly photos. ;)

    it's such a beautiful and interesting place to visit! i am definitely gonna add this to my "places to go to" list. :D

    <3, Mimi
    $100 Shopbop Gift Card Giveaway

  5. Looks like a great start to your honeymoon. Being silly with my husband is pretty much a favorite pastime for me!

  6. What a neat adventure! Love the volcano photos.

  7. This is awesome! Now that is my kind of honeymoon!

  8. Aww you two are so cute! And it looks like your honeymoon must have been amazing!!

  9. Awwww. Continual reasons for me to be jealous of you!!! We did not take a honeymooon. We went to the poconos but I was sick and so it wasn't exactly honeymooney. :P

    SO glad you had an amazing time!

  10. Great post, sounds like a great time ♥

  11. I love every single picture but I don't love that every one of them made me totally jealous.


  12. LOVE the photos and the blow-by-blow recap! Your experience reminded me a lot of when Liebling and I hiked the Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala this summer, yucky egg smell and all! About the malaria, though, is the risk very high over there? Did you have to take anti-malarial medication or was bug spray enough?

  13. My goodness how very gorgeous! I want to go on vacation!

  14. What a great honeymoon location! I always associate this locale with that one season of survivor haha.

  15. This looked like fun --- and I like the new header, too!

  16. I like the new header! And this post's parenthetical comments! And the cute photos of you and IC :-) Happy honeymoon!

  17. This looks awesome!! Love the silly pics. You two are adorable! ;)

  18. oh wow..looks like such an amazing trip!

  19. When rocks make you almost as tall as someone, that's probably a good thing.

  20. Have a most happy honeymoon. Make memories you will always fondly look back on!

    As it is, the pictures look amazing !

  21. I like that standing on a rock makes you almost as tall as IC.

  22. SJ - I knew it would be smelly, but I always forget HOW bad the smell is until it's hitting me in the face :)

    E - I know right. I wish I had that kind of capability to take what I see. But I'm not that skilled.

    Iris - It was actually ok in the mosquito netting, I thought it was going to be horrible.

    Mimi - Totally. I'm so glad you're inspired to go. I loved Vanuatu!

    Yours Truly, Melissa - Right! Being silly is totally underrated.

    Jillian - Thanks!

    Marisa - Yes! We wanted to make sure we did all kinds of cool things but also some relaxing things!

    Jessica - Thank you! It was totally amazing.

    Elle Sees - It was pretty awesome.

    Evolutionary Rev - Well, as I've said this was kind of an unintentional honeymoon!

    Linda - It was incredible.

    Lorraine - You'll just have to go to Vanuatu then!

    Oneika - Maybe I'll write about this in another post. But the Malaria threat varies from island to island. In most parts of Efate/port vila there is no malaria (although we were still cautious) and in Tanna there is some, we were only there for 24 hours and so we just wore long sleeves the whole time and potent bug spray.

    Krysten - Aw, I want you to go on vacation too, you deserve one girl!

    Ellie - It was spectacular!

    Alex - I think many people do. I've actually never seen survivor so, I had no idea.

    Token - Thank you!

    Heather - Thanks Heather!

    Teacher girl - Totally awesome.

    Mrs Pancakes - People always say Australia is so far away from everything but it is actually so close to you know, Asia! and the South Pacific!

    Linlah - How funny! I didn't even notice that.

    Prixie - Thank you! We certainly did make some fond memories.

  23. I love exploring the Pacific. There's just so much there and so much diversity. Vanuatu from this post alone just looks magical. Once we visit some Micronesian countries I think Vanuatu will be our next trip. You guys look great <3

  24. I think I've just found the destination for one of our trips in the future. We want to be world travelers, but of course, we're going to have to get rich first. Or save really well. I'm going to bank on the latter option.