Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hawai'i Pt. 4 - Volcano National Park, Kīlauea Iki, And The Goddess Pele

Day 7: I woke up feeling under the weather, so we drove the 30 minutes to Hilo to get some medicine and some supplies. When we got back, we had lunch where the resident cat, Figaro, tried various ways of persuasion to get part of our sandwich.
Feed me, human

When staring didn't work, she started rubbing up on us to charm us into giving up our sandwiches. I told her that I had a pushy dog, so I was used to resisting the charms of cute animals.
I know you have a tasty food. Let me put my fur all over you so that you are enticed into giving it to me.

After lunch, I had a nap before we went to Volcano National Park. After going to the visitor center and getting a patch, we headed over to the Kīluea Iki trailhead.

The hike is 4 miles (6.5km) and descends into what had been a lava lake in 1959.
Here we are on the guided tour to Mordor.

It is solid now, but it is still hot enough underneath that when rainwater gets into the cracks, it steams right back out.

After ascending again, we found ourselves next to the Thurston Lava Tube. We went ahead and added the extra mile (1.5k) to the hike before getting back to our car.

I had heard that the best time to see the volcano was at sunset. It was getting close to it, so we drove down the road to enjoy the show. Halemaʻumaʻu Crater inside Kīlauea is where the volcano goddess Pele is believed to live. We watched for a good hour, every once in awhile seeing bits of lava fly into view. We heard it said that there is something magical about watching earth being made that is younger than you. I'd say it is true.

Day 8: I woke up feeling terrible. My head was so stuffed up I had trouble swallowing. Our wonderful hostess, Joan, let us know that some people get really stuffed up near the volcano. She gave us a ginger water tonic and golden milk. Within a few hours I was able to breath out of my nose again (a miracle), but was unhappy to find out that I had a 101˚F (38˚C) temperature. We had originally planned to do a 10 mile (16k) hike to see the lava flowing into the sea. I wasn't too broken up to miss it though. We had heard that the view wasn't that great because of how the rock had been breaking and falling into the sea. Instead I had probably the most pleasant sick day I've ever had, sleeping with a warm breeze and happy bird songs wafting over me. Connor sat outside and read some of the mythology books we had bought during the trip. It was a really restful day after packing it all in. I felt much better the next day, when we flew back home.
Waiting at the airport in Maui with a view of Haleakala before our final leg of the journey home

I'll admit, we went a little nuts with the souvenirs. We bought a bunch of books, including one on the Hawaiian language to satiate Connor's thirst for knowledge. The bracelets we made and the manta ray necklace we got at the lū'au, but baptized the night we saw all the rays. (I'd like to think that is why we saw so many.) We had forgotten our reusable bag at home, so we rectified that while at the grocery store. I also wanted a silly mug. The most unplanned purchase was the little man in the barrel. We saw this young girl holding it in a store telling her brother, "Look at this." She lifted the barrel, then said, "Boom." You'll have to come over to our house to see what made her say boom.

We also got quite the collection of magnets and patches. I've already added the locations of the patches to the souvenir patch map.

While this vacation was a challenge to what my expectations were, overall, I'd say it was a great success. Now I just need to recover from it.

4 comments :

kiwiyarns said...

Wow, you had an adventure! What a magical week, despite the last day being spent unwell. Thanks for sharing the story!

José said...

Looks like a fantastic trip ! I'm sorry your health didn't fully cooperate . And how can you ever get too many souvenirs from suh a beautiful place ? ;)

Alicia said...

Thank you for sharing your trip! Those lava tubes look super cool to explore. Sorry you were sick at the end but at least it was a pleasant place to not feel well.

woollenwilderness said...

It must've been so magnificent seeing a live vulcano! Thanks for sharing this trip with us! :)

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