Tanna Island, Vanuatu

28 Jan

The last 2 miles to my accommodation takes about 25 minutes on roads like this and worse. The rougher, bumpier, steeper stuff is too hard to photograph through the grimy window of a pick-up as you’re being thrown about like you’re in a washing machine, and so like 99% of everything I see and do, or the places or people or sounds or smells or any other aspect of the experience on any given day, it never makes it onto film or into the blog. (A few photos doesn’t come close to capturing the million things that make up a day of travel):

Sometimes you try, and almost lose your camera:

Lodgings are rather basic, but nowhere near as bad as places I stayed while biking around the world:

There is a bathroom, less stinky than a hole in the ground (although that’s where it leads), but dirty enough that you wouldn’t want to actually touch any of it.

From the chair on the porch I can see Mount Yasur smoking and steaming:

After a while I realise that the rumbling noise I can hear every minute or so isn’t thunder, it’s the volcano.

Every so often you see a pressure wave pop up out of the volcano and blast into the clouds, like the volcano just blew a smoke ring, followed a second later by a louder explosion. Often you can feel the pressure wave in your ears, and the curtains in the cabin suddenly suck in when the sound hits.

Activity is at level 2 out of 4. At 3 or 4, you’re not allowed up to the crater rim.

At night, it might be quite nice to fall asleep to the sounds of the volcano, but it turns out your attention is taken instead by the sounds made by the rats running about the cabin…

In Vanuatu they speak a kind of pidgin English. “Vanuatu’s best water”, for example, is “number one water belong vanuatu”: