“A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Volcano National Park – Sculpture Garden

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The sculpture garden formed when lava flowed over trees. The trees, it seems had enough life in them to support the lava as it flowed around them, formed tubes and lava and then burn the encased trees … resulting in these sculptures … imprints of trees made of lava. It is hard to capture in pictures, but in most of the scultpures are tubes which are the spaces the trees inhabited.

We the walked towards the large crater where vog (fumes coming out of the volcano = volcano fog) is continuously erupting. We went there despite signs that indicated visitors are not allowed there because of the vog (my uncle is inspired by “do not” signs and can’t help tasting the forbidden fruits):

This picture, though not much to look at it, is a rare view … the layers, starting from the road, volcanic field before crater, crater wall on the far side, a mountain rising after it and finally in the distance (this picture is from an area south of Mauna Loa) is the barely visible Mauna Kea.

 

From here my uncle continued for a walk around another neighboring crater. I was tired and decided to walk back to the car.

I got lost in the lava fields (mentioned in the beginning of this post) and knew then that this would be the last day of travels with my uncle. The next day I felt back to Kauai where another journey had begun (it is a story from a parallel universe so doesn’t really belong here) … where I found rest, relaxation and nourishment in preparation for my long journey (6 flights) home.

 

 

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Mauna Loa

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Today we drove up to Mauna Loa – the sprawling mountain across from Mauna Kea. Its an impressive drive up … a long wavy road that crosses through vast rough textured lava fields … it did not feel as steep as the road up to Mauna Kea … its impressive feature was its length and the contrast between the smooth the texture of the road surface next to the rough texture of the surrounding landscape. It is also a narrow, one lane road … with side-niches for stopping to allow oncoming traffic to pass. The twisty(right to left), wavy (up and down) narrow road creates plenty of potentially hazardous blind spots and demands attention driving up.

You can see Mauna Kea across the valley:

Mauna Loa is a rough landscape … lunar … lifeless … vast:

It also has some observatories … but apparently these are more military-ish … so closed off to the public.

 

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Around the Big Island

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Ancestors

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Two (more) beaches

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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):

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