Visit to Hawaii Volcano National Park (HVNP)

Trip Start May 21, 2012
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today, the roosters started crowing at 3.30 am in anticipation of dawn. The birds joined the morning music at 5.30 am. I prefer the birds as they let me sleep longer.

We had hot breakfast overlooking the ocean at the B&B (quiche, chicken sausage, homemade blueberry muffins, homegrown pineapple, and pineapple juice). Then we drove 1 hr to HVNP.

From the visitors center we took a guided tour of Kilauea Caldera, which erupted in 1946. It is still erupting (smoking). The park ranger told us a mythical story about the ohia lehua tree and This tree is the first to appear on new lava flows and its hard wood was used by native Hawaiians to make spears and tools. It is all over the park.

We visited the Devastation Trail which was like walking through a desolate area. It was really windy. At the Thurston Lava Tube, we walked through a lava tunnel. It was dark, wet and spooky. There were moss and tree roots growing at the top of the tunnel. There are 'bathtub rings' inside the tube formed by different heights of lava flow. We also walked around numerous steam  (H2O) and sulfur (rotten egg smell) vents. The rocks were yellow, white and red due to deposition of sulfur. This completed all the short walks that we could do with Ajji and Tata. It took us over half a day to do this. Dad might have liked to hike down to the caldera, but that would have taken another 3-4 hrs.

Instead we drove 30 mins south to Punalu’u Beach, which is a black sand beach with volcanic rock debris. There we saw green sea turtles getting a suntan. We also saw turtles swimming close to shore. As the ocean was a bit choppy we did not venture to swim.

In the town of Volcano, we had dinner at Thai Thai restaurant (soup, cashew nut stir fry and a curry dish). For dessert we had Poha Berry ice cream, which is unique to Hawaii. Then, we went back inside HVNP to the Jaggar Outlook to view the active Kilauea volcano. We saw a red glowing flume cloud. It was cold and windy, so we did not stay out long.

I got yet another Junior Ranger certificate. For this I completed a workbook and learnt a little more about volcanoes, the geography and culture. Ajji thinks I can be a park guide now. I said, yeah right in total doubt.

Good night.
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