Ants on a volcano – Climbing the Ambrym volcano

Vanuatu - Posted On

 Nadège writes:

We had our best track of the country on the Ambrym island. The climb to the volcano Barum starts in a tropical forest. We walked trough old lava riverbeds until the green volcano’s slopes. Like an ant climbing up the slept giant’s spine, we climbed up edges until the top from where we had a fantastic point of view on the lava lake in fusion, some 400m below us, still feeling the warmth of it! The roc is in fusion just there!

You must see the colour of the sky at night (please see pictures)! We slept alone with Olivier one night at the bottom of the volcano. We wanted to feel the huge forces of the nature. We wanted to feel how small we are in this world and we felt it… it was a nightmare!! We had a storm all along the night, with some lightning everywhere. The heavy rain filled up the riverbed. And we were scared to be attacked by some awful huge (but fortunately quiet) spiders appearing all around us…

Olivier writes:

Lava heats our faces. We see our planet showing it real heart: roc in fusion. Bubbles come from down there, splashing the red rocs around that tiny lake, far down there. There must be a great thermal going on over here! I set my wing ready; it’s time to fly! 

But as I happen to value dearly my life, I take no risk. Flying an active volcano was great in Tanna, flying a second one is even better… but I will make that short and safe. From the lip of the crater, I spot a large area in the crater with no activity at all. That will be my landing area. Two minutes of flight later I land safely down there, having flown my second active volcano in the Vanuatu, two worlds first in a row! 

It’s late, we are not very prepared for much more and we stop the flying activity to that point. But I think if someone ever want to climb upper on the lip, there might be some good potential for longer flying and soaring there, with landing in the riverbeds down, outside the crater, on the north side of it.

When we set off on our sailboat, the wind has dropped completely. Adrien spots a mile away some black shapes, like large pieces of woods floating. But they seem to disappear sometimes, then reappear. Cannot be dolphins, they are too slow. We approach with the engine, cut it off and finish our course in the middle of them. They are sort of whales, some globicephals as we learn later! We also spot a huge shark, far below, maybe 30m as the water is pristine clear. With Adrien we jump in the dinghy and start paddling to get closer. From one to another we go and see them closely, and we jump in the water with snorkelling equipment, seeing them face to face, 10m apart from these giants of the ocean. 

I will never forget that magic moment!