Sailing on top of the Ring of Fire
Vanuatu is situated on the junction line of two continental tectonic plates on the Pacific Ring of Fire and an occasional tremor is a part of a normal day to day experience. (And we have already experienced several of these!) There are nine active volcanos (seven on land) and numerous fumaroles and thermal springs are scattered through this region. These are some of the world's most accessible active volcanos and Mt. Yasur on Tanna island gave us quite a show. There is a bang, the ground trembles, smoke and red-hot magma shoots up....smell of sulphur, dust...suddenly silence for few seconds before the roaring noise and the shooting magma starts all over again. We were allowed to walk as close as about 150 meters from the crater rim – definitely an unforgettable sight! Roughly 80 island forming Vanuatu stretches 1,300 kilometres and modern life hasn't yet reached many villages we have seen till now. People spend their days tending their gardens, fishing in homemade canoes. There is no electricity, just solar or flash light for few hours before they go to bed. No fridge, washing machine or anything else that we can't imagine our life without – yet the “Western world” could take few lessons from these people on sustainable agriculture and fishing. All we get here is organic and no extra cost for that! Of course money is needed for school education and this is a big challenge for the families here since industrial structure is at the minimum. Traditional dancing, land diving, sand drawing and musics performances for the tourists are just one way to make some money. The water surrounding these island is crystal clear and the underwater scenery spectacular, full of life. Vanuatu has twice been voted the happiest place on earth and villagers always welcome us with a big smile, curiosity about us and the outside world and they let us share in theirs. We are going to be around here till the beginning of September, before moving towards Australia, but first, with a stop in New Caledonia. Have a good summer and keep smiling!