From fauna and flora to volcanoes. Day 2 was all about exploring Volcanoes National Park at Kilauea. My husband and I visited this park pre-children but because we stayed on the Kona side of the island, we didn’t have much time to see everything we wanted. Though we caught the end of the road where lava had covered the highway decades ago in our previous visit, we’d missed the lava tube, steam vents and magma lake. Moreover, the magma lake was best seen at night when the smoke and red/orange hues lit up the night. Last time, we certainly wouldn’t have wanted to wait around for darkness to fall knowing we had a 3-hour drive ahead of us.
We lucked out with a ranger who’d happened to stop by the topographical map at the visitor center who was still answering random questions from the growing audience. It was here that we learned of the magma lake and what a once-in-lifetime opportunity it was to be able to observe it bubbling and steaming from a safe distance. And the lava tube – how did we miss that last time? A relatively short, dark tunnel lava carved years ago. Only a small part of the entire tube is open to the public but fascinating, nonetheless.
It was a wet and rainy day for our explorations. We anticipated this when we decided to stay in Hawaii and visit this park. We had long pants, sweatshirts and raincoats for just such an occasion. It wasn’t that cold but when the wind picked up, we were feeling pretty lucky. The next day was warm with no rain in sight. We took advantage of this change in weather to see what we couldn’t see – and that was the Kilauea overlook. After this short stop, we continued on to our rented house in Kona…on a mini coffee plantation. [BTW, photos taken by both my husband and me.]