Big Island: Lava Sighting and a Farm Visit

After a long day in Hilo, punctuated by an amazing Manta Ray experience (for my traveling companions who couldn't stop talking about it), we went back to the other side of the island using the southern route. That choice was made because we wanted to see if we can take a peek at the volcano once again, since the day before we had been unsuccessful due to the heavy fog. The drive was long and us ladies in the back seat took a cat nap.

When we arrived at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, I was surprised that the park was open and that you can easily drive up to the viewing deck, although the visitor center/museum was closed. Upon our arrival, we saw 5 people there. A couple who was watching from the far end and a trio of guys we met initially at the Manta Ray Experience. They took the tour before us. Then we found out they all live in the Bay Area as well.

It was amazing because that night, with only the 9 of us there, the experience was pretty spiritual. We saw orange fiery bubbling coming out of a vent and little did we know that this was the beginnings of a major eruption of 2018. No one knew. We thought it was always like this. In fact when we were there, we all experienced the shaking, a small earthquake, followed by drumming and chanting from the distance. We surmised that the local Indian tribe was doing some sort of a ceremony. We took photos, and when we couldn't take any more, we drove back to the rental. Oh by the way, we got stopped by the police. Our driver apparently was going over the limit. Thankfully, they let us off with a warning.

kilauea before eruption 2018

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The following day was another gloomy rainy day. We were supposed to visit my husband's former co-worker who retired in Hilo to become a farmer. The flea market nearby was our meeting place, however, we overslept and coulnd't meet him up there. Still, we got to the market and see what was selling. Unfortunately, it was raining so hard we hardly took any photos at all. Afterwards we were given directions on how to reach the farm.

But before we went to the farm, we wanted to see the thermal pool or the hot ponds of Ahalanui. Beautiful spot where locals and tourists dip in the hot pond and look out into the ocean. I wished that we had brought our suits so we could have dipped here too, but well we didn't plan this trip well. Sadly, I heard that this county beach park was overrun by lava on July 11, 2018. This was how the park looked like before the lava flow.

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From this park, the ex-coworker's farm is about 15 minutes away. We entered a private drive that forks a few yards from the main road. The house numbers were not listed on the signage. Then car coming out from the left side of the fork stopped to let us go, but when we asked if he knew the man we were going to visit, he said he didn't. So perhaps we should take the right side. Thankfully, we deduced correctly and pretty soon, we were pulling up in his farm.

He had the most wonderful house I have seen for a retirement home. I loved it. He and his neighbors evacuated a day later, unfortunately. We have not heard from them since then, although we found out they were back in California soon after the evacuation.

He started planting cacao and organized the first Chocolate Festival in Hilo a few months before this visit. He showed us his farm and visited with him for a bit.

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This was our last day in the Big Island and we had plenty of places to see still.

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  1. Hello, it is neat seeing the lava flow. That years was a bad year for the destruction of homes and roads from the lava right? Nice photos from the farm. The kitty is cute! Enjoy your day and weekend ahead.

  2. Such a strange and wonderful place Hawaii is, especially the big Island where you cannot take anything for granted.

  3. Wow, the lava shots are amazing, and your timing with being able to see this area just before the major eruption of 2018... also amazing!!

  4. What a wonderful post.
    Those lava shots have such an awesome and magic atmosphere.

  5. Oh my dear,
    what a wonderful post !
    The lava shots are so impressive !
    Also the other photos are interesting.
    My contribution...

  6. Sigh. Wishing I could visit the Big Island someday. If I don't get there your photographs supplied me with gee that is what lava really looks like. Thank you.

  7. Such a beautiful place! I hope I can visit Big Island some day, it looks like a wonderful experience.

  8. The photos of the hot lava are amazing! I've never been to the Big Island, but I see there is plenty to explore there!

  9. I have never seen lava flow in person. Fascinating and frightening are the words I feel

  10. Very dynamic sky shots ~ Hawaii is so lovely ~

    Happy Days to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  11. All so interesting, amazing the lava images.
    Happy weekend!

  12. Great pics. That lava is amazing!

  13. Amazing experience, especially that lava sighting!

  14. I love the big island, but I've never been that close to the lava - it looks like quite the experience. My snowy shot wasn't taken very long ago, but it's at a ski area (which has had almost 300 inches of snow this year and still boasts a 69" depth today). Luckily we don't live on top of a ski mountain! April is a month of extremes for us, it's often our snowiest month but also gets quite warm, often right after a snowstorm...

  15. Amazing how much wonder and awe you packed into your Hawaii Holiday. It’s so beautiful.

  16. How great that you guys got to see the lava and that glow above the caldera. We couldn't stay back to see it, when we visited. We had a long drive back to out hotel so we only saw the steam coming off Kilauea -- during the daytime.

    Lovely seeing your pictures. Thank you. That's quite a sight.

  17. It must be quite an adventure living in Hawaii.


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