Tag: Volcano TravelView All Tags
Situated in the middle of Southeast Asia is Indonesia, an archipelago nation the includes the island of Bali, synonymous with tropical cocktails, private luxury villas, and people with smiles as warm as the temps. There is one thing that can throw a wrench in the enjoyment of all of this paradise, however: a sleeping volcano that awakens.
That's just what happened late last week on the main island of Java, when Mount Kelud woke from its dormancy and began spewing ash, rock, and smoke into the sky. History has proved an issue for air travel when there's any type of ash in the atmosphere, so naturally planes were grounded across the region, even as far south as Australian flights en route to Bali, the Cocos Islands, and Christmas Island.
Oh heck—here we go with another big ash problem. This time it’s some volcanic activity down in Mexico that’s creating the problems, as Popocatepetl is the one messing up the atmosphere this time. This sucker is kind of half way between spots like Mexico City and Puebla, so if you have flights in or out of the area just be aware.
The delays and cancellations were all over the place last week, as carriers like Delta, United, American Airlines, and US Airways all had to mess with their schedules to accommodate the stuff up in the skies. At one point there were around 40 flights cancelled on just one day, so Popocatepetl is certainly less than friendly.
In case you missed it, over the weekend there was explosion over in Cleveland—but don’t worry—it wasn’t that Cleveland.
Apparently it’s time again for the annual volcanic eruption, and that means potential disruption to air travel. This time the ash and smoke is doing its thing up in Alaska, as the Cleveland volcano is getting a little cranky.
In case you want to know where to look for the troublemaker on the map, this volcano is roughly 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, stuck on Chuginadak Island within the Aleutian chain of islands.
We live in a travel world where, for better or worse, Jaunted maintains categories for volcanoes and for volcano travel, to say nothing of our originally lighthearted but eventually kind of depressing big ash problems tag. Every January we wait the first eruption-driven airline cancellations of year. On particularly bad years we've even been known to slip into theological spculation about which gods exactly travelers pissed off.
Aside from angering volcano deities, there are also more mundane explanations for why travelers, every year, get stuck in airports because of volcanoes. A lot of those reasons have as much to do with badly planned and implemented safety regulations as they do with actual eruptions. But as those bad regulations get get fixed and as new technology comes online, we're getting to the point where we just have to admit that sometimes volcanoes erupt, and sometimes that delays air travel, and sometimes there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Nature Travel / Costa Rica Travel / Hiking / Green Travel / Active Travel / National Parks / Volcanoes / Volcano Travel / → All Tags
Have you got a spare three or four hours? If you were in Costa Rica right now, those could be spent hiking around a volcano and petting frogs. Sure, everyone knows the giant Arenal volcano towards the center of the Central American country, but Costa Rica has six other active volcanoes, one of which is Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, located in the Guanacaste province and within its own National Park.
Rincón de la Vieja is serious business as far as volcanoes go. Heading up to its top rim and caldera is no longer allowed (too risky!) but local, experienced guides can easily lead you on a several-hour hike to spot fumaroles (steam vents), bubbly muddy water cauldrons, cute froggies and waterfalls so clear and cool you'd think it was Norway instead.
Has it already been nearly two years since the massive, international air travel mess that was the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano? We suppose it's awesome that the world hasn't ended in the meantime, but now when the holiday travel season rolls around, we get a little anxious. Any weird Earth-spewing activity can throw a wrench into the whole delicate system, but not if EasyJet has anything to say about it.
In June 2010, the European low-cost carrier announced that they'd had enough of this volcano nonsense and would take it into their own hands (and US government laboratories) to develop a system to detect ash in the air in the plane's flightpath. It's called AVOIDairborne volcanic object imaging detectorand that's exactly the idea, to avoid ash so it doesn't gum up the engine and crash or cause malfunctions in planes.
Volcanoes / Big Ash Problems / Volunteer Travel / Volcano Travel / Hawaii Travel / Voluntourism / → All Tags
If you've had your travel plans disrupted by one of the many recent volcanoes, here's your chance to learn exactly how they work, and why they're becoming such a nuisance. Volcano Discovery is hosting several trips this year for small groups of novice vulcanologist, including an exhibition to the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.
During the trip, participants will spend their time studying volcanic activity with an experienced vulcanologist guide. The Kilauea volcano is considered the most active in the world and also features the longest known continuous lava tube, making it one of the best places on earth to learn about volcanoes.
The five day trip will take place between September 25-29 and costs $1790, which includes hotel costs, breakfast, dinner and transportation daily. Air transportation is not included. For more information, visit VolcanoDiscovery.com.
Thanks to a proclamation from the Hawaii County mayor, January is officially Volcano Awareness Month. Throughout the month the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park—among other local organizations—are teaming up to share their knowledge and understanding about all things lava.
In addition to the usual offerings within the Big Island’s national park, there are going to be loads more programs, talks, and hikes focused on better understanding what the heck is happening both above and below the earth. Volcanologists will be on hand every Tuesday to answer questions about Kilauea and probably anything else you want to throw at them. On Saturdays, groups can meet up with a park ranger to head on a hike into the Kilauea caldera—it’s just shy of three miles round-trip. For those that are a little more into entertainment, January 16 is the day to learn all about a special hula that tells the story of Pele—the goddess of fire, not the famous soccer player.
If throwing yourself off a platform with nothing but a bouncy cord tied to your feet is a bit too lame for you, then you're a candidate for the wildest bungee jump we've ever heard of: The Volcano Bungee near Pucon, Chile.
Basically you get flown up to an active volcano--yes, we mean a bubbly, smokin' volcano--and then you have to bungee jump off the helicopter into the caldera towards the molten lava. Are these people insane?
Anyone thinking that throwing themselves into a volcano sounds fun also needs to be fairly well off. You can do this bungee jump as part of a six-day package for $9,995, including accommodation and other (slightly less crazy) activities. And if you're asking the same question we are--Could you die doing this jump?--then the Volcano Bungee gang already has an answer for you:
Yes. You could. You'll be signing a waiver, so we're cool.
Umnak Island, in the Aleutians of Southwest Alaska, experienced a rocking volcano explosion Saturday morning. Because of Mount Okmok's location in the isolated island chain, the only people immediately affected were on a cattle ranch located just six miles from the base of the 3,500-foot volcano.
Ranch owner and Arizona native Lonnie Kennedy fired up his helicopter when he heard the thunderous boom and began moving his family and ranch hands off the property towards the "Deadliest Catch" territory of Dutch Harbor.
The explosion tossed smoke and ash 45,000 feet in the air, leading PenAir to cancel two regional flights. Regular service returned by Sunday morning.
The last time this volcano exploded was 1997; that time it remained active for eight months. We're more amazed by how a cattle rancher goes from Arizona to Alaska. A-state pride, baby!
[Photo of Mt. Okmok in quieter times: Wikimedia]
Visitors have been enjoying the show at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park since March, when a new vent exploded open in Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea. The volcano has sent a continuous flow of fluffy white gas into the sky, adding some excitement to the park's already impressive lava flows.
But Kilauea has also covered the Big Island in a haze of "vog"--volcanic fog--which is heavy in sulfur dioxide and has some island residents wheezing and worrying for their health. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park has been among the voggiest areas, leading rangers to close parts of the park nearest the summit, and even temporarily shutter the entire park in April.
The Big Island Visitors Bureau launched a press push this week to bring visitors back to the park, noting that the trade winds returned last Friday, pushing the vog out to sea and creating clearer viewing opportunities.
If you'd rather check the vog from a distance, the NPS has set up a webcam on the volcano.
We've been pretty keen on a trip to the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu ever since we heard the people there are the happiest in the world. But apart from walking around and smiling a lot, we weren't really sure what there was to do there--until now.
A Sydney Morning Herald review this week has got us captivated by Vanuatu, because it is home to the world's most accessible volcano. By which we mean, you can basically sit on the edge of the caldera and watch a few explosions of lava, performing like clockwork every evening.
The tourist-friendly volcano is called Mount Yasur, which means "old man," and it is located on Tanna Island, a 45-minute flight from the capital of Port Vila. Don't feel you have to hurry--Mount Yasur has been continually erupting since 1774, and there's no reason to imagine it's suddenly going to stop now.