Lava

Hey Dad,

So today we checked out of the hotel and headed to a supermarket to pick up some food and drink for today’s antics. 

Today we are going on a lava hike! 

We stocked up on supplies and drove down to Kilauea and the National Park. We were a little early so grabbed some lunch at the national park centre. We walked in to find a huge panoramic window which over looked a massive crater! The middle of the crater was steaming. We were looking over an active volcano! The crater was huge, and it just looked spectacular!

Huw chose tonight’s  accommodation, a cabin in the national park. To be fair I was quite looking forward to it too, it’s definitely something different! We checked in and headed down to the cabin, it was like a big garden shed! It had electric, but not much else! Still we dumped our cases, changed into hiking gear and packed a bag.

The start of the hike was an hours drive, so back in the car. We ended up getting to the start a little later then we would have liked. The hike was over four miles away, so we would have to walk for 4 miles before starting to hike. We were loosing daylight, so decided to hire bikes! The bike company even offered a shuttle for the first two miles, which happened to be up hill. So we kind of cheated at the beginning and opted for the shuttle. We cycled until the track ran out and locked up the bikes. 

The Kilauea volcano is an active volcano where the lava flows directly into the ocean. The hike over the solidified lava leads to a look out where you can see the lava flowing down the side of the mountain and hitting the ocean spewing steam, vapour and rock into the air. 

Walking on the cooled lava was tricky. It looks solid and hard like rock, but it is as brittle as glass. One poor foot placement and the lava would crumple beneath you. The lava was as sharp as glass too, you did not want to be falling over on this stuff, it would cut you to ribbons! 

We got to the lookout while it was still light. We both agreed seeing it at night would be awesome so we left the lookout to hike further. The area close to the lava flows is completely cordoned off, but you can follow the rope around ad walk towards the centre of the flow. We walked for a mile or so, which took forever. The lava was anything but flat, and having to be so cautious about where we were standing made every step take ages. We kept finding cool things in the lava too, like caves and cracks. 

We walked as far as we could, until it was so dark you could see nothing without lights. Fortunately the bikes came with head torches and a hand held torch. We stood for a while watching the bright red lava roll down the now black hill. We realised the ground underneath us was hot. The safety guy explained to us the lava is only about 10 feet deep and the lava is flowing underneath us. Knowing how easily this stuff breaks and the amount of crevices and cracks in it, 10 feet did not seem like a lot. We started to walk back, which took twice as long as we were walking by torch light! 

Back at the lookout we just could not believe what we were seeing! The lava was glowing bright red and hitting the water creating plumes of steam. The lava was almost spitting from the rock face. It was just insane. We sat and just watched it for ages. Suddenly aware it was pitch black and we were getting chilly, we remembered we had to cycle the four miles back – along a dirt track, in the dark, up hill. 

It felt like the longest four miles ever! By the time we got back to the car I was exhausted! 

Huw offered to drive home, phew! 

On the way back though there had been an accident on the road. Anywhere else this would not be a problem, but there is only one road! We had nowhere to go, and there was no way round. Fortunately they cleared it pretty fast and we made it back to the cabin. 

Time to put my feet up!

Night dad x

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