Friday, September 4, 2009
Volcanoes and Black Sand Beaches
Yesterday we island hopped over to the Big Island for some sight seeing with the Vaughan Family. It was a fantastic, jam packed day! We left home at 6am to board our flight to Hilo. When we landed, our first adventure was a helicopter ride over Mauna Loa. We flew over Hilo and got to see Rainbow Falls waterfall along the way. The volcano was awesome! A lava flow had started the day before and was still going. We saw magma through a hole in the ground and then we flew over the ocean and watched lava flow into the water. You could see chunks of the lava breaking off into the water! Eve loved it!! Jonah slept through most of it...the helicopter lulled that boy right to sleep.
After the helicopter ride, we headed toward the black sand beach in Punalu'u. It's totally worth the trek out to it...just gorgeous! The contrast between the palm trees and the water and the sand is breathtaking. Eve and I saw a turtle stick his flipper up in the surf, but there were none on the beach. I may have actually died from excitement had I seen a sea turtle on a black sand beach...or a monk seal..omg! Amanda bought a post card that had three types of sand and lava rocks on it. I told her that it's supposedly bad luck to take lava rocks home...it freaked her out some.
When we left the beach, we drove back to Volcano National Park to check out Kilauea. Last year we went with my parents and it was cold and rainy so we skipped going in the lava tube. I've regretted it since...a lot. This time it was also cold and rainy, but by god we were going. It actually wasn't that far (sorry Mom!) and was very cool. Eve hated it...felt very scared that lava was going to come flowing in at ANY second. She raced through it.
We then tried to drive Crater Rim Drive around the Caldera, but part of the road was closed. So, we trekked over (and by trekked I mean drove) to the Kilauea Iki Crater and Amanda promptly returned her lava rocks and sand (just to be on the safe side!) to the volcano in an effort to rid any bad luck that may have come from Pele for taking those rocks back to NC.
We drove over to the Caldera after this and went through the Jagger Museum. Last time we went we saw a rainbow in the Caldera...and there was ANOTHER one today. I freaking love a rainbow (as you all know!)...so I took like a million pictures of it.
Bourke's cousin is attending UH at Hilo so before boarding our 8:20pm flight, we had just enough time to squeeze in a quick dinner. We tried to go to some actual restaurants, but time was so tight Subway won out in the end.
Amazing day with awesome friends...loved EVERY second of it!