We seem to have found a rhythm of one day intense and one day soft. Today was soft … two beaches. We were able to get close by car to the first … and went swimming in it:
A short hike through a lava field brought us to the second where we were greeted by bright greens and white sands (apparently the sand on this beach is from corals)
… and went swimming in it too … then I went to check out the next two bays (David went earlier) and found this phenomenal site … trees that have grown on the volcanic surface close to the beach … first feature (which I’ve seen a lot of) is superficial root systems that simply can’t go deep … so much that there is a tree species (I saw a lot on Kauai) that has roots reaching from above ground into the ground … but then, when close to the ocean, the sandy soil gets washed out from beneath them leaving them to collapse.
and the hike back brought us to the “classic” Hawaiian scene
We then stopped by the car rental agency to change cars to a 4×4 … because the car we had did not do a good job of carrying us down Mauna Kea … and there are still more up&down-hill adventures ahead. We changed from the very-large car in front (Dodge) to the huge one in back (Nissan):
Maune Kea is one of the two volcanoes on the Big Island, the one with all the observatories on top of it.
We passed through the clouds on the way up. This was the view down from the visitors center at ~9000 feet where we stopped to acclimatize.
After anotherr few steep miles we were at the top driving between the large telescope structures.
we decided to walk down to lake waiau
And setting aside any preconceptions about sacredness we found ourselves in a sacred place
And gifted with an abundance of beauty and connection we started our way back to the car
After the long day in Volcano National Park we went for a different kind of day … a less-traveled spot … about a mile walk from the coastal highway brought us to a beach (with another rich and shameless deserted villa) that brough us to a picturesque lagoon where, together with the local turtles, we went swimming:
not many pictures … this time we were more IN it 🙂
We took a long drive down to Volcano National Park where we started with a hike in Iki (=small) crater. Later in the visitor center I learned that we were walking on what was a lake of lava less then 100 years ago. I’m not sure the images can begin to capture the contrasts of the place. To my eyes so much of the landscape looked dark, yet the landscape is covered with fine-silica which reflect a bright shining light which dominates the pictures. It took a bit of post-processing to get the pictures to resonate with what I felt I saw.
The hike starts with a rain-forest-ish walk around and then down into the crater.
then the crater’s lunar surface appears
followed by a short walk into a lave-tube cave
and then another drive took us down to the shoreline where vast black lava fields meet the pounding waves of the ocean … a collission of static and dynamic forces resulting in … life! in the distance you can see steam rising from where hot lava is currently flowing into the ocean.
It was fascinating to learn from the visitor center video that the Hawaiian island were (and are still being) formed by the same volcano. The under-water structure that is the Hawaiian islands is drifting east (away from the USA) ~10cm a year. The volcano is like the head of a 3D printer that is printing islands that are then drifting east … creating (ongoing!) the chain of islands.
A short flight brought us over to the Big Island. From the plane landing it became apparent that this is a very different island. First the powerful, raw, rough & rugged black lava that dominates. Then the large and full private jet parking lot at the airport!
We are staying at what is the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever been too (didn’t imagine I would ever spend time in one) on Hapuna Beach.
We took a beach walk to the neighboring Mauna Kea resort … and on the way passed a few deserted-looking (though actively maintained) villas of the rich and shameless (the jets at the airport are probably part of the kit when you build one of these villas):
… and arrived at the neighboring resort:
and on the way back …