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Day 12: Lava Rocks!

semi-overcast 29 °C
View Hawaii on weary_feet's travel map.

Spent the day down at the Kilauea Caldera again today. Started off at Jaggers Museum which is a museum and observation deck overlooking the main crater of Kilauea. We were lucky in that it was quite a clear morning and so it was very easy to see the crater itself spewing out it's steam and sulfur. Unfortunately there was no visible lava... After visiting the museum we then went around to the bottom of the national park to see the point at which the latest Kilauea eruption too place. Its quite strange because all of a sudden you are driving along and then you come to a car park.. you park the car and walk a few meters and then the road just ends.. the lava swallowed up the road! We did a bit of a hike on the flow itself before deciding to drive around to the other side of the flow (you have to drive along way just to make 500m as the crow flies!) and find some hot springs for a swim.

Volcano Nat Park is a hikers dream.. you could literally spend weeks just hiking all of the trails that are throughout the park. Many of them require overnight hikes! Anyway the reason I've placed this side note is that if you ever do decide to come to Hawaii make sure you dedicate a couple of days just for the Volcanos.. you can't see it all in one day.. in fact we are going back tomorrow for the third time to see the park.

Today's blog is titled Lava Rocks and that is because Conductor has been reminding me each day to put a mention in my blog about the local radio station here in Hawaii.. it is called Lava FM.. it probably has the worst transmitters on the island because more often than not you get static rather than music but it does have a cool radio name.. I'm surprised that there isn't a "Hot Rocks" named station.. that would be my choice if I was a radio owner.

Back to the blog.. after VNP we drove what seemed like forever to get to the other side of the lava flow and went hunting for some hot pools that we had read about in one of the 20+ brochures we had picked up at some stage but had since thrown in the bin.. Therefore we were semi driving blind.. we knew the general direction but not exactly... After many window discussions with other drivers we finally found these illusive pools....... Wasn't quite what I was expecting.. After being to Hamner Springs in NZ I was expecting really nice warm sulfurous pools in a nice big complex that is just designed for tourists and instead got a nice big ocean fed pool that was tepid rather than hot.. It was nice in its own way but wasn't what either of us were expecting. (Conductor kept having his legs nibbled by some little fishies!)

The area of the island where the pools are located (bottom right corner of Hawaii) is the most luscious rain forest area. Driving through was just beautiful.. It is the first time both Conductor and I have felt that we are actually on a tropical island. Honestly the big island is not what you would call tropical.. dry and arid are more the flavour of the island.. We drove passed a stand of Lava Trees.. They remind us of those trees you see in movies that are found on the African plains.. the ones that are quite broad of branch but have a very flat looking foliage.. The type you see pictured when you think of the Serengiti. Anyway, these trees have obviously been there for a long time as they are massive trees with lots of moss and vines growing all over them.. Just magical.

Nothing else to report for today except we tried some baby back pork spare ribs tonight in an "all american" bar and gee they were delic.. Tomorrow day time off to find some waterfalls and tomorrow night we are going to return to Volcano hoping to see some lava glowing. See you all then.

Posted by weary_feet 00:45 Archived in USA

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