Deep South
We left the south Kona area and headed to the volcano, but not before a detour to South Point, which is the southern most point in the southern most Hawaiian island which consequently makes it the southern most point in the USA.
(Whereas South Kona reminded us a bit of Big Sur in California, South Point was a dead ringer for Point Reyes in northern California)

Lonely South Point Horse Tall Grass. Wind Mills. Our Overly Large Jeep I Heart You
It's a long drive off the main highway and you go through cow and horse pastures on often one-lane roads - glad I had a huge jeep.
It's windy. If you fell into the water, your next stop would be the South Pole.
The sun is brilliant. The grasses are tall.

We had lunch at the Hana Hou Cafe after we trekked back onto the highway - it was recommended by the B&B guys back in Kona and it was a tasty lunch (it's also of course the southern most restaurant in the USA).
I filled up the Jeep with gas and it was like $500 a gallon.

Volcano! Volcano!
We arrived in the little town of Volcano later that afternoon. It's on the east side of the Big Island and is much more moist and green.
Volcano Teapot CottageOur lodging for the next couple of nights was at the Volcano Teapot Cottage.


It is lovely. You rent the whole cottage. Two bedrooms, nice size living/dining room. Manicured yard. Outdoor hot tub in the middle of the garden.

And the cottage is stocked with food for breakfast and supplies.
Cute. Perfect little house. We wish we lived there.

Rachel. Sunset. At volcano.After unloading our junk, we drove into the Volcano National Park and hiked out onto the lava while the sun was setting. The road dead-ends into lava (volcanoes do not respect city planning). Even though we didn't hike out too far onto the lava, it was still a pretty nuts experience. The lava (the old lava) is like some liquid-looking inky black lunar surface. Off in the distance (about a mile) we could see the orangey/red light which was the lava pouring into the sea and the steam clouds going out to sea.
The idea that you are watching new land being created is profound.

Up on the hill, you could see little spots of orange light from openings in the vents that the lava was flowing through (lava is smart enough to make it's own little tubes to allow it to get down the mountain efficiently).

Holy shit! That's lava.

Lava. Long Exsposure. (i)
It was a full moon and I took some fun photos of the lava off in the distance.
(that is after I realized i had left the lens cap on for a number of shots)

Volcano! Rain!
The next day (New Years Eve! Woo!) we went back into the park and hiked into one of the large craters. You follow this trail that runs around the edge of the crater, and then on the opposite side, it drops down onto the crater floor and you then walk across to the other side.
If you have done this, you may be thinking, "Wait. You did it backwards."
We did. Our guide book (the brilliant "Big Island Revealed") suggested walking it opposite of what the signs say. I forget why. I may disagree with them on this.

It was misty until we got onto the crater floor, where it started raining. Oh, and the wind picked up.
Hence why I have no photos of this adventure.
(b/c I am a dork and my big lens was covered in rain)

But, what a landscape. Once again Hawaii serves up another non-earth looking location. Spectacular. Mrs. Robot luckily shot some images with her little pointy/shooty camera.
Rich in the Crater
The hike was four miles and the guidebook suggested that you could do it in two hours if you were fast.
With the rain, we did it really fast and clocked an hour and a half.
We were soaked.

The hot-tub came in handy that day.

New Years Eve! Woo!
We had a very nice dinner at the Kilauea Lodge. Being NYE, they were busy and had run out of two-top tables so we sat at a large table with another couple, who were naturally from NJ.
Dinner was good. I had rack of lamb. We drank some nice wines.
We were asleep by 11pm, but did watch the east coast New Years celebration on the teevee.

Bye Big Island
Akaka FallsWe toodled up the coast on the east side of the Big Island and then cut across the top of the island back to the airport. It was an amazing landscape the whole way. Saw waterfalls in the middle section and then in the northern part of the Big Island it's just rolling hills and tall grass. Not developed at all.

Big sky.

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hello hawaii - part i (or ";aloha sweet jesus";) hello hawaii - part iii (or ";maui, you so pretty";)

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