Crossing the Volcanoes: Krafla and Yasur

  We must follow our inner aspirations, not be afraid of difficulties, and exchange hard work for glory and freedom.
  You can optimistically say that the story of life never ends, or you can cautiously say that life ends in a blink of an eye. My life has a limit, and it is inevitable to be extinguished and dimmed, but it is a pity that I have not worked hard to burn before the end. I have gone to great lengths to see volcanoes just to see how they burn. As Canadian singer Neil Young sang in his song: It’s better to burn out than to fade.
  Iceland is like a fantasy time and space, the sunset is always a kind of pink that is too thick to melt, and the fjords, snow-capped mountains and aurora that can be seen everywhere are a dazzling combination of golden red, snow white and ghost green. But what I remember most about Iceland is its magical appearance shaped by hurricanes and volcanoes.
  In the southernmost town of Vik, the black sand beach is formed by the lava produced by the volcanic eruption, which attracts film crews and tourists from all over the world with its gothic style. The geothermal activity of the volcanoes creates a very different landscape: flat, colorful, and varied.
  The Mihu area is composed of basalt formed during the volcanic eruption 2,300 years ago. The low-lying area has become a lake with rich vegetation and many fishes, and the high-lying area has become a strange volcanic landform geyser: geothermal sulfur spring. Geothermal heat gushes from ditches and fissures, creating chimneys of white steaming pipes and pools of tumbling mud in the ground. If a volcanic eruption is like a hoarse roar, then these continuous geothermal eruptions nearby are a soft sigh.
  The active volcano in the Mihu area is called Krafla. It is 818 meters high and 10 kilometers in diameter. The cracks caused by the eruption are as long as 90 kilometers. Historically, Krafla had 29 recorded eruptions, but it has recently fallen silent.
  There are large geysers near the Krafla Volcano, which will erupt again. The geothermal pit exudes a strong sulfur smell, which is blown around by the high winds in the mountains, and the soil is also bright orange because of the rich minerals. With cinnamon pink, occasional accents of neon green. Walking on it is like being on an alien planet.
  Because I didn’t wait for the volcanic eruption in Iceland, I went to the South Pacific, which is the two ends of the long diagonal line on the world map. As the closest active volcano in the world, Vanuatu’s Yasur Volcano is the dream of many volcano lovers.
  Although they are equally colorful and isolated from the world, they are different from the coldness and vastness of Iceland, and those small islands in the South Pacific are as warm as fire, which gave me a completely different experience. Tropics are defined by warm colors. I told the guide that it is a ritual to stop and make a wish when you see a rainbow, and he agreed. We saw two rainbows on the way up the coast to the volcano.
  The gray plains of volcanic ash are just as spectacular. The rolling hills are all covered by volcanic ash, and occasionally plants appear, which is very suitable for driving a four-wheel drive. Although I have never been to the moon, but walking on the soft volcanic ash, there is an unreal feeling of walking on the surface of the moon.
  I didn’t know until I got there that the so-called close encounter is sitting on the edge of the crater. Yasur, which erupts every few minutes, is actually gentle: the magma that can swallow everything is always “hesitant to speak”, and does not go beyond the ring-shaped crater. Tourists sit in twos and threes in the crater and watch the magma roaring. In mid-air, sparks scattered with the wind, like magnificent fireworks in the night.
  I love volcanoes, but am not sure I prefer their eruptions or their occasional silence. But after passing through the strong-smelling heat of the geyser and experiencing the uninterrupted eruption of Yasur, I think what I like most is the indescribable but palpable silence before the eruption. This silence reminds me of the ardent desire hidden deep in my heart: I never tell anyone about it, but I always accumulate strength.
  This is the era of fast food. We hope to use the least time and pay the least price to get the most things, but some scenery requires a lot of time and a long journey to arrive. Some wishes have to be brewed in the bottom of my heart for many years, and can only be realized with continuous efforts. We must follow our inner aspirations, not be afraid of difficulties, and exchange hard work for glory and freedom. This is what the volcano taught me.