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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Big Island Tour

While on our trip to Hawaii, we decided to take a day trip to the Big Island of Hawaii to see the active volcanoes.

It was a wonderful day.  Our tour picked us up at the hotel very early that morning.  We flew from Honolulu to Hilo and spent the day sightseeing.  It had been 24.5 years for me, and David and the boys had not been to the other islands so it was a real treat.
(We're dressed warmly because it was chilly in the morning and high up in the mountains.  This was the only day we wore sweatshirts, believe me!)
Our first stop on the Big Island was to the black sand beaches.  Just gorgeous.  I'd always heard that they existed only on the Big Island, but not true.  Apparently they are throughout the world, including Iceland.  Regardless - gorgeous!

The lava formations are evident throughout the Big Island, thanks to more active volcanoes in recent years, changing the coastline of the island.

We stopped at Queen Lilioukalani Gardens.  So pretty, and I loved all of the beautiful trees and bushes.

We also visited Rainbow Falls.  Look at that monster palm frond!

Rainbow Falls.

I loved these palm fronds climbing the tree like a vine.

We saw nene all around the island.

We spent quite a bit of our trip exploring the volcanic areas. 
Here we're walking towards the cinder cones and sulphur banks.
Sulphur Banks - it was really interesting to see the steam rising, smell the sulphur and see the yellow sulphur throughout the hike.

But everywhere plants found a way to grow, even in sulphuric lava beds.

Walking around Kilauea caldera, viewing the crater

Looking down into the crater

You can see people hiking down in the crater

Then we walked through lava tubes - this one is 550 years old.  We walked through lush rain forest to get to this point.

And then back out.

Hardened lava.  We stopped and explored this large area. 
It was sharp and very hard.  It was really interesting to see up close.

A huge sea of hardened lava.

Climbing and exploring

Then back to view the crater and steam vents at night.  What a sight to see!

A really great day on The Big Island!


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