108-0865_IMG.JPG (579305 bytes) Different layers of lava at the base of Mount Mauna Loa
108-0869_IMG.JPG (541741 bytes) The crater of Mount Kilauea
108-0870_IMG.JPG (438726 bytes) The "core" crater (i.e. Caldera) of Mount Kilauea.
108-0875_IMG.JPG (628458 bytes) The "Craters Chain Road" was interrupted by a 1995 eruption. Mount Kilauea has been active incessantly since 1983.
108-0879_IMG.JPG (371129 bytes) Lava entering the sea. 400,000 m3 (14 million ft3) are entering the sea on a daily basis
108-0880_IMG.JPG (813050 bytes) There are two types of lava: the highly fluid and smooth lava we see here and the very rubbly lava we saw on the very first picture
108-0884_IMG.JPG (533852 bytes) Devastation Trail
108-0885_IMG.JPG (738042 bytes) Giant lava tube
108-0897_IMG.JPG (641891 bytes) On the other side of the interrupted Craters Chain Road one can access the lava stream as close as 100 m (328 ft) passing the fresh lava fields
108-0899_IMG.JPG (587313 bytes) Tourism the US way. I was actually astonished that I didn't have to sign a five page waiver of all rights anybody could impossibly think of
108-0900_IMG.JPG (1019115 bytes) The lava cools in amazing formations
109-0901_IMG.JPG (609279 bytes) Close to the active lava stream. Now the lava is only dripping (one could actually see it), but there are times when the lava flows like a river with speeds faster than that of a cyclist
109-0904_IMG.JPG (825767 bytes) A car didn't make it out fast enough
109-0905_IMG.JPG (982270 bytes) The lava was as fluid to flow around the fence
108-0887_IMG.JPG (476007 bytes) On the southmost point of the US (Ka Lae - South Cape)
108-0892_IMG.JPG (822901 bytes) Rainbow Falls close to Hilo
108-0894_IMG.JPG (838770 bytes) Pe'epe'e Falls close to Hilo
109-0907_IMG.JPG (1017550 bytes) Akaka Falls, yes you've guessed it right: close to Hilo
108-0890_IMG.JPG (578962 bytes) Mount Mauna Kea (4,205m, 13,796 ft) as seen from the saddle road
109-0909_IMG.JPG (573914 bytes) Skiers and snowboarders on top of Mauna Kea on Christmas Eve, i.e. we had sort of "White Christmas"
109-0911_IMG.JPG (583106 bytes) Mauna Kea is The place for observatories: low pollution (light, smog)
109-0914_IMG.JPG (583129 bytes) View across to Mauna Loa (4,169m, 13,679 ft)
109-0915_IMG.JPG (576114 bytes) Driving up on gravel roads (forbidden to rental cars) is easy, as the gravel road is well groomed and about as wide as an Interstate Highway. However, after having driven up from sea level you want to be careful about not moving to fast or your you'll experience the effect of the altitude very quickly
109-0920_STB.JPG (477166 bytes) Waipi'o Valley
109-0921_IMG.JPG (561057 bytes) A quick stop on the driving range on the way home
109-0924_IMG.JPG (1096008 bytes) King Kamehameha statue in Kapa'au. This was the original which was lost in a storm close to the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas, if you are from Argentina) and which was recovered miraculously only after a copy was built. The copy now stands in Honolulu.
109-0926_IMG.JPG (530487 bytes) Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park (Kawaihae Bay) on Christmas Day
109-0930_IMG.JPG (576226 bytes) A Luau in the garden of our hotel (King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel)
109-0931_IMG.JPG (508165 bytes) ditto. The stage of the Luau is actually next to a real historical site (King Kam's study room: Ahu'ena Heiau)
109-0937_IMG.JPG (524046 bytes) Ahu'ena Heiau (which is in the hotel park)
109-0935_IMG.JPG (934396 bytes) The King Kam hotel is also next to the official start and finish of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. What an honor to stand here!
109-0939_IMG.JPG (602352 bytes) Terminal at Kona International Airport. Front: main waiting lounge, back: Gates. This is the final proof that weather is mostly good in Hawaii (at least on the lee side of the volcanoes).