Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hawaiian Adventures Day 3

Big Island - day 3

Do you assume that 6 hours in a car is a typical day for a day on the island? Well you should ;)

No... maybe not. But that was what today looked like for us. Our day to go to Volcanoes National Park started early... again. We were up before 6 am (ugh, jet lag), so we were able to hit the road around 8:30. And with a 3 hour drive ahead of us.... I was actually glad for it.

Our GyPSy Guide was on and the drive was great.
(We all seem to call the GyPSy Guide different things... Jim, seems to be the most common, but our oldest, seems to prefer "Sir" when talking to or about it. The sillier members of the family - not me, I can't believe you would think that - like the tipsy Gypsy. Sigh... I try not to worry about them)
The guide had commentary on the how the islands were formed, the types of lava flow and types of volcanoes, and the history of Hawaii. Needless to say, the time went quickly. We stopped to see another black sand beach and once to have a snack... ah, Malasadas.

So.. this guy was on our windshield when we were pulling out of the garage. 
The terrain here is so surprising. We are clearly on the dry side of the island. 
Do you like Hawaiian Rolls? If so, stop here! Good malasada too. 
We found another black sand beach.
Looking for tide pools.
Found a crab!
Sand is blacker than dads shoe! 
A little after noon we arrived at the park.
And it was starting to rain. We had come prepared, but the tour buses full of people at the visitor center had not, and were buying up ponchos like they were a hot fashion trend. We didn't linger too long at the visitor center, and quickly were back on the road to explore the park.

A few things to note here:
Our oldest HATES volcanoes.. He is more than anxious about today. He tried everything in his arsenal to get out of this particular adventure. And had mentioned to me daily that this island isn't where he wants to be.  Somehow the other islands are ok with him, but this one, with an active lava flow... not good. At one point in the drive today, when it fully hit him, this was happening, he muttered (loud enough so we could all hear him) "I'm doomed".  When hubby and I started to giggle, he started laughing too.

The other thing is that hubby and I have been here before. Back in 2001, we spent a week here and took a few trips into Volcanoes National Park. On that trip we used a great guide book to explore the park. Yes, things are marked, but to simply drive around, without additional info, and you will miss some spectacular views.

Ok, back to the day:
We were thrilled that the GyPSy had info for the entire park. Telling us what was at each outlook spot and what could be found down each trail. We also appreciated the tips and suggestions.
We didn't get out at every stop, but we saw a lot and enjoyed the park (well, most of us... one of us survived the park. Luckily, he loved the GyPSy commentary, so as long as the guide was talking, he was a happy adventurer).
We left the park a little after 3 pm. Time to head back to the resort, oh - and find some food.

Steam Vents.
Toxic gases coming from the crater

So, it's a little windy... just a smidge.

the lava fields are amazing
Great Sea arch
With a late morning Malasada and snacks in the car, we were ready for an earlier dinner.
In the town of Captain Cook, we found a great little pizza place. Either the food was amazing or we missed a real lunch.... I think it was both. Even the iced tea was amazing.

Excited for some good food!
Really good stuff. 
Finally, after once last stop, we made it home. What a day.
Our oldest got though it and did very well, considering his strong feelings. He has said he will not return to this island in the future. If my current trend of once every 15 years holds up, he will be out of my direct care the next time I come... and I might not invite him ;) So I am ok with him making that choice. But I am proud of him for getting through today.

Tomorrow, we attempt to be lazier. And spend less time in the car.

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