I have a bucket list as long as my leg and on this trip I got to cross quite a few things off that list. Making our way back to Australia from mainland USA we visited the Big Island, Kona. Famed for its active volcano Kilauea and active lava flow. Priority number one was to hike onto/into a volcano and to see lava. The first stop was a lava boat tour off the coast of Kalapana. This place has had its fair share of major lava activity over the years. The flow I saw has been a continuous for around 3 years and varies in its intensity. Luckily for me the seas were unusually calm and that allowed us to get much closer to the flow than usual. Seeing lava flow into the ocean was something else and I remember sitting on the boat lost for words watching the earth grow right in front of me. Such is the heat of lava that it ranges between 1000-1200 degrees Celsius. The ocean temp around the flow would be equivalent to an extremely hot shower. One thing I wasn’t prepared for aside from the risks of the poisonous gases emitted from the flow was the noise of the lava hitting the water and exploding as it cooled down.
After spending the night in a nifty bed and breakfast up on the Volcano I ventured into the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I checked out the caldera of Kilauea, walked through the Thurston Lava Tube then hiked down and across the Kilauea Iki crater. It was an unforgettable 24 hours.