This was probably on the best days we have both ever had so I’m going to write quite a bit and go on quite a bit, but it’s worth it.
The alarm went off at 3am, it was pitch black and there was no power, as the generator doesn’t work at night. It was tricky getting ready, making sure we didn’t stand on any of the 3 kittens, but the pick-up driver had turned up to take us to the volcano so all was good.
The drive to the volcano was fun, really, really rough roads that I thought the car wouldn’t be able to make it up and a trip across the volcano ash plains that made it feel like we were on the moon. We couldn’t see the volcano yet but every 5 minutes or so it would erupt to a massive rumble, and throw lava and fireworks into the air.
Our driver stopped 150 from the crater edge for us to walk the final part. It was like following Frodo to Mordor! Pitch black with the runmbling volcano above, sh*t scared but excited. Our senses were telling us to run like crazy, away from the volcano, not keep walking towards it!
Frodo led us to within feet of the craters edge. Looking down we saw 2 blowholes glowing and bubbling with lava and 1 more slightly hidden. Within minutes we saw our first proper eruption, lava flying above our heads preceded by a massive thunder rumble. The eruptions got less scary after that, until Frodo told us that the last time Mount Yasur properly erupted was in 2004 when some Japanese tourists were killed!
The sun was staring to come up and it was getting lighter thank god, so we could now see everything around us and felt a bit more comfortable standing on an active volcano crater. The sun rise was truly amazing and this coupled with the volcano erupting behind us was a moment we’ll never forget, truly exhilarating.
We headed down and posted some post-cards in the worlds only post-box on top of a volcano, not sure what it is with Vanuatu and placing post-boxes in weird places but I like it.
Frodo then took us back for a 2 hour trip to the other side of the island for our flight back later that afternoon. We arrived at around 9am and headed to Evergreen Bungalows for breakfast and onto White Grass Resort to lounge about for the day. We were so happy to be at White Grass in the sunshine, what a fantastic day.
Our last full day in Vanuatu , booo. We’d read about Turtle Bay, only a few miles from where we were staying, so decided to head there for our last day on the island. We were given a guide tour on arrival around some of the turtle pools, plus an aviary and a crab compound. The guy who showed us around Turtle Bay , had a pet bird called “Jonathan”, I asked him why he called it Jonathan, and after a pause, he said “because I love him”………
We found a great spot on the beach, the water was totally crystal clear and the sun was shining, happy days! The snorkeling here was the best we’d seen in Vanuatu .
In the evening we went to Waterfront Bar & Grill in Port Vila. There was a dodgy pub band playing that was entertaining. Lots of people here which took some getting use do after our isolation at Tamanu on the Beach.
This will be the longest day we have both ever had. We're flying from New Zealand to Las Vegas and because of time difference we gain almost a whole day back so Thursday May 15th will be 43 hours long! We got up at 6.30 forour double day bonanza to start but still didn't leave the campsite til 9. For some reason getting ready in a camper van takes 2 hours or more every day!
On our way out of Rotorua we thought we'd try some extreme sports and headed to The Agrodome, which has a choice of different crazy activities for us to choose from. We opted for the xtreme freefall skydiving which was so hard to get "flying". Liz and I had 2 x 2 minute sessions and managed to get in the air long enough to get a decent photo before hitting the deck.
After getting rad in the skydiving arena we headed up north and towards Auckland Airport for our 12 hour flight to Los Angeles. After waiting for an hour at immigration we headed to Avis to pick up our car, a Ford Mustang convertible, ready to drive to Las Vegas.
The drive was ok, sounds romantic driving through the desert in a convertible but after an hour or so and already being awake for 30 hours, it does get a bit boring. We got to Vegas at 7.30pm and checked into the MGM Grand. We'd booked the celebrity suite, even though we're not celebrities but they didn't seem to mind. Headed to an Italian restaurant in The Grand and then frittered away 50c on a jackpot machine, gambling is a mugs game. Got to sleep at 11pm after our 43 hour marathon day.
After a long and well deserved sleep we headed to the MGM Grand Buffet. The buffet was huge, so much food, we could have stayed there all day and by the looks of some of the fatties in the queue, some people had plans to stay all day. Once we'd had enough food to sink a small ship, we went to the pool and chilled out in the sunshine for a few hours. The temperature was 35c today, fantastic.
In the early afternoon we thought we should explore Vegas a bit as we only had one fiull day there. So, we took the Mustang for a drive down The Strip to check out the themed hotels and see what it was all about. The hotels were amazing, New York and Paris were probably the most impressive.
We ended up at The Ventian hotel, a $1billion exact replica of Venice with canals, gondolas and all. We took a Gondola ride outside in the sun and were serenaded by an "Italian" Gondalier.
In the evening the plan was to head to the Bellagio for food, gambling and the famous fountain show. We caught the show at around 9.45 and it was incredible. After the show we headed to a noodle restaurant in the Bellagio and then for some roulette and a bit of bar poker, lost a few hundred bucks but headed home happy.
The last day of our honeymoon. I'm not too sad to be going home as we've had such an amazing time and seen so much. And we still had the 5 hour drive back to LAX to look forward to! The drive was ok at the begining for 10 minutes and at the end for 10 minutes, but in between there was desert. Liz was reading her book the whole way and the only thing that broke up the journey was an agricultural check point half way there. I was hoping we had some illegal fruit, but alas no, so I had to keep driving. Arrived at LAX ready for our flight back to London and the end of an amazing journey with my lovely wife.