My favorite place to visit on The Big Island of Hawaii
I have lived here for almost 4 years now, and I have developed my favorite places to visit on The Big Island Of Hawaii. Below is a small list of places I like to visit. There are so many extraordinary places to visit here on The Big Island. To list them all, and tell you about them, and why they are great, would take all day. There are just too many places to visit that are worthy of a whole post of their own.
My favorite place to visit on The Big Island of Hawaii is a place that is not always a place worthy of visiting. Does that sound crazy? It is I guess, in a way. See my favorite place to visit is at this point (03/10/2018) is nothing to see really. Let me explain. My favorite place to visit for a couples years now, has been the lava flowing into the ocean down in Hawaii Volcano National Park. More about this later in the post. Yet, there is not many awe inspiring events you get to witness live that will leave you speechless for hours if you are not careful
Before I get to carried away, let me tell you more about this spot. To get where the lava is flowing into the ocean it is a 8 mile round trip walk/ bike from the parking area in Kalapana. There no trees for shade and you will be surrounded by past lava flows now black and laying in the sun. You can even see the heat radiating off the top of the lava. That’s lava as far as you can see. well, you are walking along the coast. So, its not black heat radiating lava as far as you can see all around you. Its only lava as far as you can see halfway around you. lol There are portable bathrooms about half way to the flow. Otherwise, no trees, or 7-11’s. You need to bring with you water, food, tissue, flashlight, rain jacket, real shoes (not sandals), long pants, backpack, camera, sense of adventure. It is worth knowing that the parking area to go to the lava flow does not open until late in the afternoon. Depending on the time of year, it will be dark within a few hours of arriving. This means the sun will set before you start walking back. Yes, your walk back to the parking lot will be after dark
I personally ride my bike to the lava flow from the parking lot. It is a fair amount easier going to and from the flow by bike than on foot. The one thing I should mention is, to get to the lava, you will need to walk just a bit further over the black lava to reach a viewing point on the coast. Yeah, its not really just an 8 mile hike/ bike. Once you are close to the flow you need to walk a few hundred yards from the road to the coast. It is important to find a place to sit at a slightly higher elevation than right on the coast. This will give you an unobstructed view of the glowing lava.
Now, if you are super adventurous, and only if you are. You walk about 2 miles inland from the coast and you can view red/orange gooey lava flow across lava. it moves pretty slow. No need to be too fearful of it. Still, its really an awe inspiring thing to see live and in person. This lava flowing over the old lava varies in location and is always best to check out the HVO lava flow map for details.
I myself find that when I am at the lava flow, time kinda melts away. I find that when I think I have only been sitting or standing there for a few mins. It turns out that I have been there for an hour. Its really a crazy feeling. I am sure you have had this feeling at some point in your life. A lot of people will crowd up to the rope keeping people out of unsafe areas. I guess its a matter of getting as close as you can to the flow, maybe? I never mess with that. I most often go to a peak a couple yards from the ropes. Its more private, kinda.. lol At times it can get very crowded in this viewing area.
I’ll tell ya, my thing is that I like to pack a bunch of munchies and drink sit there and listen to the people see it for the first time. Yes, it is that spectacular! My first time seeing it I know was saying things like, “HOLY COW! Call someone. The center of the earth is leaking out!”. I like to tell people that have taken to visit the flow that I compare watching the lava like a campfire. You know how when your camping and there’s a fire, and everyone just sits ands stares at the glow of the fire?? If so, that’s what it s like.
After it gets dark is the best time to be there. The glow from the lava turns the whole area around you a warm orange. Again, like when you sit across from someone around a campfire. Sometimes as you sit and contemplate life, your choices, your future, There will be little mini explosions at the flow. I mean you always have the hiss of the lava and water coming in contact with each other. These mini explosions as I understand are little pockets of methane or some kind of explosive gas similar. They hit the lava and boom. Now I call them mini explosions, truth be told they can at times be big ones too.
When the lava first started flowing into the ocean, it had slowly built up a shelf of new ground it was a large amount, like 40 acres. I think. its was cool to see the lava come bubbling up out of the water. It really makes you realize that your an Insignificant blimp on an enormous whatever..lol After a while. I don’t remember how long ot was, The self that built up had broke off. When this happened, the lava came flowing outta the cliff like a fire hose. It was a huge about of lava. when this happened it made the whole experience something different. I know there are pics here, but it really does not do the event justice
After I have visited the lava flow a few times I had noticed that what I contemplate had changed. I find that once I am out there on the lava basking in the glow of Pele. I just keep fantasizing that I am siting here for the millions of years that this exact thing would happen, and can watch the Hawaiian island form. Look, you can laugh and tell me not to get so high before heading out there..lol its all good. But, its the truth. I really get the feeling of well being while I am there.
Before you start looking at hotel and airfare to Hawaii. I must tell you that at the moment, the lava is not flowing into the ocean. It might start flowing into the ocean again, but for now no. You can always get the latest news about the Volcano and lava flow at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) website.