Unpredictable, wild and exciting

During our visit to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018, we booked a trip with Aloha Lava Tours to hike on the Kilauea volcano.Timing can be everything because nature can be unpredictable. Four months after our adventure, the 2018 lower Puna eruption on Kilauea volcano’s East Rift Zone began. For months, the island was in a state of emergency. If we had planned  our trip a couple of months later, this trip would not have been possible. In other words, we would have missed what is probably the most amazing and spectacular experience I have had in my life. I highly recommend when visiting the Big Island to include the Hawai’i Volcanos National Park to your plans. Explore the raw wild beauty of the island. Maybe you can even hike a volcano like we did.

 

 

Close to four pm, we arrive at Kanapala and the home of Scott and Cheryl, the owners and tour guides from Aloha Lava Tours. After our stop in Pahoa to stock up on waters and some snacks, the area had become more and more disserted and desolate. We passed big areas of lava, with brand new houses on them. During our briefing Scott and Cheryl explain that the houses we saw on our way were destroyed during the last eruption in early 1990. That eruption destroyed about 200 houses. Scott and Cheryl were lucky, the lava flow just missed their property.

The circle of life

For decades, most Big Island residents like Scott and Cheryl were safe and others returned to rebuilt the houses they had lost. There were small lava flows but there was little damage. The lava flows were also attracting tourist like us, eager to hike the volcano and watch the lava flow down the volcano.

Scott explains that we will drive in their little house on wheels to the point were we can enter the volcano. He makes sure we all have solid footwear. Lava is anywhere between 700 and 1200 degrees Celsius and even the parts we walk on can get very hot.

We climb on board, ready for the adventure to start. After a short drive we arrive at the bottom of the volcano. It is still light when we start our hike and the first part of our walk is on old and hard lava. Scott points out the little plants that are starting to grow back in the older areas of the volcano. You wouldn’t think anything would grow on the type of material lava is, but it shows how resilient nature is.

New life springing up on the black lava

Walking on an active volcano

We get to the higher part of the Kilauea volcano when the sun is about to set. We see the first glimpses of an orange glow and we start to feel the ground getting hotter. Scott is guiding us expertly over the lava, knowing exactly where to walk and what areas to avoid.

We stop at an area that looks the same as the other areas we walked over. Scott tells us to halt. He points at an area of black lava in front of us and tells us to wait as he expects the lava to start flowing out soon.

We watch in fascination and soon we see little spots of orange appear in the black ground. After a while the little orange spots slowly pop open and turn into streams of lava. Several of them flow on the area where we just walked. As a result, all of a sudden we are surrounded by active lava.

The unbelievable power of nature

By now the sun has disappeared and the sky is turning black, making the experience even more powerful. We watch for over an hour and realize the power of nature. We try to imagine what it must feel like if you see this river of insane hot orange mass slowly but surely making its way to your house.

It is now almost completely dark. Scott tells us it is time to go back to make sure we get back safely. In order to make sure we don’t walk accidently onto areas with new lava, we follow Scott in single file. We walk passed areas with brand new lava and we can feel the heat burning underneath our soles. Scott tells us to keep walking and not stop. When we make it back to the car, we look back up to the mountain. It is now completely in the dark, lit up with orange streams of lava everywhere.

how powerful nature can be

The 2018 Kilauea eruption

In conclusion, it was an unbelievable experience. It is almost unreal when a short four months later, we hear that the Kilauea Volcano has erupted. It is pouring its lava through Leilani Estates, a neighborhood not very far from where we walked the volcano. The eruption lasts for three months and covers an area ten times the size of Central Park. It destroys more than 700 structures, making it Hawaii’s most destructive eruption in decades.

Aloha Lava Tours has for the moment suspended their tours. Looking back now, and having seen the force and destruction of the eruption, I am not sure I would do the tour again. However, I am glad we did the tour before the eruption and see the magnificent Mount Kilauea up close and personal.

 

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. Magnificent site. Lots of useful info here.
    I’m sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you to your effort!

  2. Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to
    know your situation; many of us have developed some nice methods and we are looking to swap strategies with other folks, please
    shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  3. After looking over a number of the blog posts on your web site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog.
    I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and
    will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site
    as well and tell me how you feel.

  4. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article
    author for your blog. You have some really great posts and I
    believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off,
    I’d absolutely love to write some content for
    your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send
    me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  5. whoah this weblog is excellent i really like studying
    your posts. Keep up the good work! You know,
    lots of individuals are looking round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  6. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
    automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for
    a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  7. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say
    that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write once
    more soon!

  8. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really
    long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  9. you are truly a just right webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing.
    It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork.
    you’ve performed a wonderful job on this matter!

  10. Hey there. I found your web site by the use of Google at the same time as searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up. It looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  11. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just
    posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving
    us something informative to read?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here