Tag Archives: adventure


We ran as fast as we could down the path that led us to the base of the volcano. Austen explained that due to the lower side of the cauldera, the lava would flow away from us. Probably.

We continued to run down the mountain as fast as we could. We could sense the ash rising from the volcano behind us. We eventually made it safely to the jungle and the bungalow.

Pan, Yaris and the cats were waiting for us in the clearing. We explained what had happened including Benjamin starting the whole thing by tossing a stone into the volcano. He shuffled his paws as everybody stared at him.

At Austen’s suggestions, we all trooped down to the beach for a better look at the volcano. We watched in awe as the eruption continued. Benjamin contemplated the scene and uttered what were nearly his last words.

“It was only a small stone. No real harm done.”

At that point, the mountain exploded knocking all of us down. Fortunately the force of the blast was largely in the opposite direction. We stood up and gazed at the mushroom cloud as the ash rose. Austen estimated that the ash would reach South America in a couple of days. Benjamin kept muttering:

“It was only a small stone!”

Benjamin versus the volcano

Benjamin versus the volcano, or, next time we take Pan instead!

We had a very pleasant evening at Austen’s bungalow. What a magnificent rabbit he is indeed: he stocks the very best French roast coffee. We all slept very well in comfortable hammocks, except for Yaris who curled up in a Kitty basket.

The next morning as a very tasty breakfast was being cleared away, Benjamin without warning asked Pan and Yaris if they wanted to visit the volcano. Without a word, Pan and Yaris sauntered out the door. Pan was soon snoozing next to his bamboo grove and Yaris was soon playing with his kitty cat friends. I guess we had their answer.

This time, Scooner and Stripes stayed behind to look after Pan and Yaris. I went along with the two rabbits and we hiked for some time through the dense rainforest. Finally, we reached the base of Mt. Kettle and began the ascent to the rim of the crater. As Mt. Kettle is not too large, this did not take long.

Austen fiddled with a variety of measuring instruments while I took a short nap. Benjamin sat and gazed into the cauldera. There was no lava visible, just basalt.

Austen eventually finished his measurements and declared that the mountain was heading for an eruption, but it would probably be sometime in the future

In disappointment, Benjamin picked up a small stone and threw it into the volcano. Mesmerized, we watched as it travelled through the air and hit the plug of rock inside the volcano. Suddenly, cracks began to appear. Then, steam appeared, first white and then yellow. The smell of sulfur became strong. Finally, we looked through the steam and saw red.

Lava had replaced the basalt floor of the cauldera. The lava was rising: time to leave.

No Worries

In the end Pan came out of the tree drawn by hunger. Yaris was a bit more hesitant. It took a couple of well aimed coconuts to get the tiger to come down. Soon, we were all having a nice breakfast of fruit, fruit, and yes, more fruit. I would have killed for a coffee.

As Benjamin and I discussed the dosage of “happy pills” that we were going to give Pan and Yaris, we noticed that they had become agitated and were pointing at the jungle. We soon saw why.

A lone figure padded his way out of the jungle. To our immense surprise, we realized it was a rabbit. And what a rabbit! It wore a beaten up bush hat, and had a very heavy looking bandolier across his chest. He was carrying a big game style double bore rifle slung over his shoulder. He was brown coloured with patches of white. Like Benjamin, he was a lop rabbit.

“Benjamin, is that you?”

Benjamin turned to us and told us it was his Australian cousin Austen. He then hopped over and greeted his cousin.

Only Benjamin could find a cousin in the middle of nowhere. I just stood and gaped.

Island Paradise?

When I think of all the islands in the South Pacific we could float ashore onto, a certain image comes to mind. Something like Maui or Bora Bora. A nice lagoon with a 5 star resort. As soon as we land, go to reception and book a room and make reservations for dinner. Lounge by the pool. Unfortunately, that is not the sort of island that we landed on. Let me put it this way: I would not be overly surprised to see Fay Wray running down the beach pursued by King Kong.

We were all very happy when we saw we were drifting towards an island. We were even more pleased when the sharks began to move off, until Benjamin with his keen rabbit senses observed that the sharks seemed to be afraid of the island. Yaris and Pan waved ” bye bye to the sharkies.”

As we floated ashore, Yaris and Pan ran to the tree line and gorged themselves on pineapple and coconut and promptly fell asleep. We were sitting around the fire Benjamin had made when the two of them woke up. We discussed what the island might have in store for us. First, we observed the volcano a few miles away. It looked on the verge of eruption, of course. Then there was the sound of drumming coming from the jungle. Pan unhelpfully suggesting somone preparing dinner

At this point Yaris started pacing about and yelped when he fell in a pothole. When we all went to help, we realized that it was not a pothole. It was a very large pawprint and Yaris quickly climbed a palm tree. What was impressive was the way Pan, a panda, followed him. I did not know pandas could climb trees, particularly at such speed.

Benjamin began collecting coconuts. He explained it was to lure Pan and Yaris down in the morning. And if that did not work, we could throw the coconuts at them and knock them down!

What could possibly go wrong?

Ask a silly question?  We are currently sitting in a life raft after having encountered some “turbulence.” I intend on writing a stern review of Gilligan’s Airline on Tripadvisor.

We seem to have good cell coverage here. First, we called the US Coast Guard for help. They were very apologetic about not being able to save us. Apparently due to the budget deadlock in Washington, they don’t have the money to get us.  They transfered us to Tahitian Air Sea Rescue. Benjamin’s French is a bit rusty and although no rescue seems forthcoming, we do have a reservation at a small bistro in Papete tonight.

We sent an E-mail to Gilligan’s Airline. They sent us an auto response saying they would get back to us in no longer than ten days, and that they value us as customers.

Yaris the tiger and Pan the panda are taking this rather well, no doubt due to the strong dose of “happy” pills they have ingested. They are giggling and waving their paws about and playing a new game they have made up. It is called “who can count the most killer shark fins circling the raft.”

At least we have good 3g service. Benjamin can finish reading this month’s National Geographic before we perish from thirst or are eaten!

Off to the South Pacific

I am taking a break from work and going on a short vacation. Benjamin thought it would be good if we took Yaris the tiger and Pan the panda to a self-help conference in Maui. Yaris has a phobia about feline predators, particularly other tigers. Pan, being panaphobic, is afraid of just about everything. Hopefully this conference will help.

Benjamin got some really cheap airline tickets online. Some new low fare airline serving the South Pacific. It is called Gilligan’s Airline. What could possibly go wrong?