Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kilauea Iki

There is actually a place called Volcano in Hawai'i.

Strangely enough it is on a volcano
as is the island of Hawai'i 
Actually it might be on a number of volcanoes
I wasn't paying that much attention to the informational movie we watched.
But I do remember that the reason Hawai'i looks like
God spilled his dinner across the Pacific is because
as the islands grew from spewing upwards from under ocean volcanoes
earthquakes moved the existing islands eastwards
and the island of Hawai'i just has not moved for an age
so is the Big Island by default,
(no earthquake pun intended).

Volcano day started out with what we would call a walk but
the Americans seem to think it was a hike. 
This was really only from the Americans I overheard when we stopped 
at the steam vents on our way to the Visitors Centre
discussing hiking to the half mile to the Visitors Centre.
We were staying with Hawaiians,
completely different from Americans.
They don't sound like Americans,
though they listen like Americans.
They don't dress like Americans,
mostly cause they live in a shoe optional world.
They don't look like Americans
because as a rule Pacific Islanders are a blip on the radar of
American racial diversity.
They should be happy that's the case I think.

Maybe the definition of hike is in a wood like area rather
than our kiwi version which would be a serious effort for a number of hours and
largely up hill, both ways, in heavy, dark, damp, cold bush.

This walk was alongside a road through a pretty National Park.
Thirteen kids, Louly and I walked not even a mile to
to listen to Ranger Julia talk about the inception of Hawaii.  
Did you know there is a new island growing under the sea to the west of the island of Hawaii?
Lo'ihi is its name,
it should be ready in a few hundred thousand years.
That's something to look forward to.

We watched two movies about volcanoes.
The second one was supa old and like it was made by Disney circa 1955.
It showed the 1959-60 eruption of Kilauea iki that flowed through Kopoho
where we were the day before visiting with Jeff and Lynn,
the Northern Californian Hippies Inc.

 There was actually an eruption as a result of the Kilauea Iki eruption
 in the middle of Kopoho township
burning the buildings they couldn't move.  
It's crazy to think that only 52 years ago lava flowed freely devouring everything in its wake.

We walked back to hot dogs for lunch at KMC
then onto the Jagger Museum,
named for Mr/Dr Jagger volcanist extraordinaire.  

The Museum was stuffed full of people avoiding the 90 degree heat,
which was only really hot if you were out in the sun.

 We drove to Thurston Lava Tunnels and
took a cool walk through shady bush
 and a massive tunnel provided by an air bubble.
Above are the kids racing to get to the tunnel.
Even the Hawaiian kids moved fast for this one,
Zac and Keoni are there in the middle behind Laura.

I know, doesn't this look like New Zealand???
Except that there are paths and people are wearing summer clothes.

We then drove to the Devastation Walk and
we walked across a moon like scape
surrounded by Ohia (Pohutukawa/Rata) trees.

Jacob here has found one of Pele's tears.
She cried them all over place
I would hope because she felt remorse for erupting all over the place
and burning up all the flora and evicting the fauna.

Claudia and Kate leading the way,
hoping no doubt that the carpark and utes are not far away.
(they weren't too far, just through the trees,
Americans make everything convenient, except shopping centres).

We walked until we arrived back at the Kilauea Iki crater.
Thats the 1959-60 eruption one.
Iki means small but it's pretty damn big if you ask me.
I need one of those proportion things in these photos.

The photo below was taken with my camera on it's supa extra zoom.
These people are mental cause that surface has not exactly cooled from 50 years ago
and it's a flipping hike (and actual hike) back up to the top of the crater.
I hope they had water with them.
I recommend the Hawai'i Springs brand,
they have the prettiest bottles.

All roads led to a crater. 
Below is Kilauea crater which as been gurgling away since 1983.
Kilauea means spewing.
I'm going to use kilauea to describe how angry I am in the future.
It's said killer-way-a, if you are saying it with a NZ accent
(words ending in -er are said -ah)
We just called it killer whale,
I don't think anyone noticed.

We headed down to the coast to follow the pathways of the lava from Kilauea Iki.
There are two types of solid lava.
A'a which is the sucky stuff that cuts if you are fool enough to fall on it or
walk on it in bare feet
(which of course is exactly what we did most of the time)
and pahoehoe which is the smooth lava
that reminds me of the top of a chocolate brownie
(what? I was hungry!).

Am I right???
A burnt brownie but I'd still eat it with ice cream.

And because I was responsible for ten young lives we let them on the lava clifts
with the sea dashing itself agianst them,
splashing so high up atop the cliffs.

When we returned to KMC from our volcano day
the kids ate and bowled
then we broke into to groups and visited the Kilaeau crater at night.

This about how far away we were.
We could just see the glow of the lava
but being not a huge fan of natural and violent kine
this was plenty close.

It was awesome though.
I tried to take photos without a flash
but I could only hold still for so long
(which turns out to be seconds).

And that was our Volcano National Park day.

On July 5th Louly and I took ten young New Zealand farm kids to Hawaii for an agricultural exchange for two weeks. They are members of the NYZF TeenAg programme. We were hosted by East Hawaii 4H specifically the Beatons and Stouts. We visited many kinds of agricultural and horticultural operations, varied and diverse, learned that American ag folks like to philosophise about their place in the world and had a great time snorkeling and shopping in the sun. These posts are in no particular order cause I was too busy to post while in Hawaii and can be rather abstract and should only be taken as an inaccurate at best record.

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