Hawaii, Day 5

This day was probably tied with the diving for my favourite day. Zephyr, Toby, Marianne, and me drove down to the southern tip of Hawaii (which, incidentally, is the southernmost point in the US) to visit a beach with green sand, and then hiked out to see the lava flowing into the ocean.

1: A beautiful bit of ocean, really really close to the southernmost point of the island
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2: Closeup of some rocks at the southernmost point of the island
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3: Even closer. Note the green flecks of olivine in the rock matrix.
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4: The windswept road we took to reach this site
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5: More southernmost rocks. :) Note the red pineapple dirt.
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6: This field bordered the coastline on our walk towards the green sand beach
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7: The turquoise colour of the water kept catching my eye
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8: Toby, Marianne, and Zephyr
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9: The clay outcroppings were in stark contrast with the lava
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10: Zephyr and Marianne in the distance
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11: Another interesting rock :)
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12: As we got closer to the green sand beach, the olivine crystals got larger
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13: Waves constantly douse the coastal rocks with water, which then makes its way back to the ocean
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14: A tree trunk riddled with beetle holes (the beetles are the size of your thumb)
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15: Green sand!
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16: Breakers crashing against the coastline
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17: Rocks and waves
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18: We passed a run-down (apparently decommissioned) windfarm
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19: Rows of turbines
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20: The rain was just coming in as we drove away
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21: We gained about a kilometre of altitude, and visited Kilauea. The crater here is Halema'uma'u; Kilauea is the larger caldera containing this crater.
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22: Zephyr and Marianne scramble over an old lava flow in search of a good photo
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23: Looking down the rift towards Halema'uma'u
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24: In the Kilauea caldera, on the lip of Halema'uma'u
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25: Panning to the left, across the crater
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26: Continuing to the left. Note the steam in the distance; we're standing on an active volcano!
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27: Furthest left
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28: Note the steam rising into the sunlight
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29: Self portrait in front of Halema'uma'u
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30: Toby, Marianne, and Zephyr walk through a field of small steam vents
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31: Steam rising from the rocky landscape
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32: Marianne was kind enough to take a photo of me in front of the steam vent field
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33: Zephyr and Marianne
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34: Landscape above the bluestone quarry
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35: Slightly different angle on the landscape
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36: As night fell, we descended to sea level, parked, and set out on a hike to see the lava
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37: Tourists and their flashlights, returning from the official viewpoint at the head of the trail (30-second exposure, hand-steadied against a rock)
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38: The red glow of lava on the hillsides above us was a constant reminder of our goal
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39: Toby, all decked out in his night-hiking gear. Hiking across the lava field in the moonlight was incredible in itself; the smooth, strange shapes of the rocks melded with the uncertain light of our flashlights and the glow of moonlight to form an otherworldly experience.
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40: Two hours and 3.5km of broken terrain later, we reached this sign
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41: We walked about 50 metres past the sign, rounded an outcropping, and were rewarded with a close-up view of molten rock. This was incredible. We could feel the heat from the lava on our faces, hear the hissing as the ocean quenched the red-hot rock, and smell the scent of hot rocks and steam. We stood and stared at this awe-inspiring spectacle for what seemed like an hour, then noticed that we actually had lava passing under the outcropping we were standing on. Upon making this realization, we beat a hasty retreat, and had an uneventful hike back to the car. (10km, 6 hours)
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