After we filled our bellies with coffee and cinnamon knots we drove out to the Hawaii Volcano National Park, got an abundance of information from one of the guides at the visitor center and planned out our visit to the Volcano for the next couple of days. The park is huge and houses two active volcanoes. We hiked near the Kilauea volcano that has been erupting since 1983. As we walked through the park we could feel random heat pockets coming from the earth. These were steam vents, pressure being released from the volcano.
The steam vents gave off enough heat that when your hand was over them, it felt like a kettle going off.
Sulphur banks were also scattered around the active volcano and they gave off a strong smell of rotten eggs.
Our view of the actual volcano was quite clear. A smoke plume is always visible and the crater that make up the volcanoes floor is massive in size.
Mike loves these cheesy photo optic illusions and he promises to take these photos everywhere we go. Here is his first one... ouch careful Mike don't get too close.
The park guide told us about a more secluded spot to see the glow of the volcano after dark. After a short drive and a mile long walk, we arrived at the most barren empty place in the park. This part of the park was closed to vehicles as the last eruption 4 months ago flooded the area with lava. Today all that is left is black lava rock frozen in place. This made for a great place to watch the glow of the lava reflect off the smoke plume. Unfortunately there is no visible lava flow from the trails unless we take a helicopter at this time.
We sat at this one spot for some time while we waited for the sun to go down.... Mike and I could both see a certain figure in the lava... do you see what we saw?
A St. Bernard? or maybe a terrier? What ever it is, it looks like a dog. Made us smile.
Once the sun went down the show began and it was spectacular.
After catching a good glimpse of the glow from this angle we headed back to our car to see it from the main lookout. On the way back the sky lit up like I'd never seen it in my life. Unfortunately my photography skill level is only in the beginners stage so I was unable to capture it. Although it was almost better this way. We got to enjoy it and we had the best seats in the house. These are the simple pleasures we take for granted in our normal life.
From the other side of the crater we were able to capture more photos of the red hot plume floating over the volcano.
Day 7- We have officially been gone for 1 week. Yihaw.
Today we drove out to South Point. South Point is the most southern point in the United States. About 3 miles from there is green beach also known as Mahana beach. The 3 mile hike to the beach is over rocky terrain and clouds of dust but a 4 by 4 can be hired to drive people down there for $30 bucks round trip. This is one of two green sand beaches in the world. Once we arrived at green beach the scene was quite beautiful. The beach itself is in a cove surrounded by black cliffs and the sand is... yup you guessed it, a faint color green.
We ended up paying a driver to take us back and we enjoyed the rocky road to our car. From here we returned to South Point. There are huge cliffs that make up this famous landscape. What do you do when life gives you lemons? You make lemonade. Of course... so what do you do when life gives you a giant cliff with water below it? You jump.