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Old 01-20-2014, 01:54 PM   #151
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I walked with a neighbor this morning who just returned from Hawaii. They spent 2 days in Hilo. When I asked her about Lava Tubes, she said the main active one that had been flowing to the ocean collapsed about 2 months ago. Geologists are monitoring to try to predict where it will surface again and indications right now seem to be away from the ocean and near some residential areas. She also said the cauldrons seem to be more active since the pressure is building. I would hate to be living that close to an active volcano.
Oh my goodness! I'd hate to be living that close too.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:17 PM   #152
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Very interesting to see lush forest, and then all of a sudden it changes into almost desert looking! You must have been so excited to see cows!
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:10 PM   #153
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Very interesting to see lush forest, and then all of a sudden it changes into almost desert looking! You must have been so excited to see cows!
I was!
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:55 PM   #154
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Great pictures from the trail! It's amazing what the lava can do! And great pictures from your drive. Not at all how I expected Hawaii to look!
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:57 PM   #155
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Great shots of the lava fields! Crater Rim Drive is closed? Granted it has been quite awhile since I have been there, but it just shows how the land is constantly changing.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:16 PM   #156
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Cool, you did go in the Thurston Lava Tube! Wasn't that incredible! And to have all the growth and life around it now!

I just remember being in the middle of the tube where you couldn't see the beginning or end...and imagining what it would be like if a wall of lava started flowing in the tube again! Yes, I've seen one too many action movies!

When I was there (all the way back in 1995!), we were able to drive all the way down to the end of Chain of Craters Road until you couldn't go further (because lava had flowed over the road!). We parked by the side of the road and then walked maybe 100-200 yards over the black lava field until we got to a spot that was roped off. There we sat until it got dark. We were advised to bring a flashlight with us since there would be nothing illuminating our way except moonlight. Once it got dark enough, you could see the orange glow of the lava against the smoke rising from the distant lava field. And there were spots up the slope where the lava flowed above ground so you could see the glow of that as well! It was incredible!

Scary to think where the lava will flow out next. I was going to comment about being able to see from the helicopter the lava flowing out the edge of the lava field like a giant faucet, but now I know why you didn't mention it!

Oh, and everyone's comments about the lack of palm trees...there are plenty on the other side of the Big Island. PLENTY of them, lol!
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:39 PM   #157
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That is just amazing scenery there. but it would be kind of scary to live there with a threat still looming. I guess you get used to it though.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:57 PM   #158
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It's amazing with the contrast of the land in such short distances! I would be worried living near there as you never know what may happen with the volcanoes and lava flows from day to day! It is so unpredictable and temperamental! Just an amazing sight from your photos and much more I'm sure up close.

Which part of the island is this and which part (the other, I'm sure) that gets all the rain?

Out of curiosity, was there much bird activity in the area? Not sure how many species may be here due to the lack of vegetation in the area for the most part.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:48 AM   #159
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Great pictures from the trail! It's amazing what the lava can do!
It is truly amazing.

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And great pictures from your drive. Not at all how I expected Hawaii to look!
It is certainly a very diverse place.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:50 AM   #160
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Great shots of the lava fields! Crater Rim Drive is closed? Granted it has been quite awhile since I have been there, but it just shows how the land is constantly changing.
Part of it is. It's closed from the Jaggar Museum south around to the Chain of Craters Road junction, and it has been ever since I started researching this trip. Bearing in mind at first I was hoping to go in Christmas 2012, I guess my research probably started back in 2011.....
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:54 AM   #161
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Cool, you did go in the Thurston Lava Tube! Wasn't that incredible! And to have all the growth and life around it now!
I was always going to do it, the second I found out about it, as I was fascinated by it. I couldn't believe how green and lush it was around it. Just unbelievable.

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I just remember being in the middle of the tube where you couldn't see the beginning or end...and imagining what it would be like if a wall of lava started flowing in the tube again! Yes, I've seen one too many action movies!
I can honestly say that never crossed my mind!

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When I was there (all the way back in 1995!), we were able to drive all the way down to the end of Chain of Craters Road until you couldn't go further (because lava had flowed over the road!). We parked by the side of the road and then walked maybe 100-200 yards over the black lava field until we got to a spot that was roped off. There we sat until it got dark. We were advised to bring a flashlight with us since there would be nothing illuminating our way except moonlight. Once it got dark enough, you could see the orange glow of the lava against the smoke rising from the distant lava field. And there were spots up the slope where the lava flowed above ground so you could see the glow of that as well! It was incredible!
Oh wow, that must've been amazing!

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Scary to think where the lava will flow out next. I was going to comment about being able to see from the helicopter the lava flowing out the edge of the lava field like a giant faucet, but now I know why you didn't mention it!
It is scary to think about where the lava will go next. I don't think I could live like that, never knowing where it will head next.

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Oh, and everyone's comments about the lack of palm trees...there are plenty on the other side of the Big Island. PLENTY of them, lol!
As I'll be showcasing shortly...
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:55 AM   #162
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That is just amazing scenery there. but it would be kind of scary to live there with a threat still looming. I guess you get used to it though.
I guess so. It's probably no different to Californians who live with the threat of earthquakes and a lot of PassPorters live in tornado areas. I couldn't do anything like that. That's what I like about here - no volcanoes, earthquakes or tornadoes. Much as we might moan about the weather here, we are very lucky.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:59 AM   #163
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It's amazing with the contrast of the land in such short distances! I would be worried living near there as you never know what may happen with the volcanoes and lava flows from day to day! It is so unpredictable and temperamental! Just an amazing sight from your photos and much more I'm sure up close.

Which part of the island is this and which part (the other, I'm sure) that gets all the rain?
Hilo, where we landed, is actually the side that gets all the rain. That's the windward side and the leeward side is where we're heading next. That gets the best weather, so that's why the resorts are all built there. It's the same on all the islands. Honolulu, Waikiki and Ko Olina are all on the leeward side, whereas later in the trip report, we'll visit some of the windward side and you'll see the difference in the weather that day.

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Out of curiosity, was there much bird activity in the area? Not sure how many species may be here due to the lack of vegetation in the area for the most part.
There was lots of bird activity around the lava tube. Interestingly, we couldn't see any, but we could certainly hear them - the noise was quite something. Where we're going next, there was also lots of bird activity and you'll see photos of a few of them too.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:05 AM   #164
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Wednesday 6 November – part seven: this is just like paradise…

Finally, we came to civilisation – honestly, we hadn’t seen any form of life along Highway 11 since we’d left Hilo really…



I didn’t get very many photos of it though, as the rain came as we drove through. The weather was very much like Florida’s, only here it was more like wait two minutes, and it would change, rather than the 15 minutes they quote in Florida!

Soon we were driving through another lava field – you’re never far from one here!



Finally, after almost two hours’ driving, we reached the turning for Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. It was quite a winding road to reach it…



We stopped at a scenic point on the way…



Then we entered the park.



It’s home to traditional Hawaiian sites dating back to the 16th century and spans a total of six acres. The way it used to work, Hawaiian society was governed by the kapu or taboo system. Lawbreakers could escape punishment though by reaching a pu’uhonua or place of refuge. It was stripped of its powers in 1819, after the kapu system was stopped, but now it’s been partially restored.











It was exceptionally peaceful here, much more so than I’d expected, especially given that there was a very popular beach nearby. There weren’t many people around, which meant we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I have to mention the group of three, who we think were German (I didn’t hear them speak in fairness – this was Mark’s assessment) and they’d managed to lose their rental car keys. We saw them looking frantically for them, but we think they had to call Avis out, as they couldn’t find them. Of course Mark immediately checked he had our car keys after that, and thankfully he did…

I did my best to stay out of the sun, not having any sun tan lotion with me, and thankfully after a while, it went in behind some clouds, which was a relief to me.

To me, this was just like paradise, and just how I imagined Hawaii to be.

I absolutely adore these statues – I just find them so unusual.



Next: exploring the rest of the park
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:13 AM   #165
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I really like those statues, and this is more the landscaping I pictured for Hawaii.
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