Friday, February 13, 2015

Hula Daddy to Volcano National Park

I've had some internet troubles and haven't been able to blog for a few days. I think the troubles may have subsided and I'll try to catch up a bit. We landed in Kona on Hawai'i (the big island) on Sunday and found our way to our rental pretty easily. We're near the Pacific and can hear the roar of the surf from here. We walk about 25 yards to get our feet wet in the salty ocean.

One of first adventures was to find a place where they grow and process Kona coffee. There are lots of little processors around. The coffee processing farm that we visited is called Hula Daddy. They pick, roast, package and sell their own home grown coffee. As we left the coffee tour hub, it began to rain. We learned a lot about coffee, much of which is interesting, but not necessary to enjoy a good cup of joe. Hula Daddy's medium roast was pretty tasty.

Volcano National Park is 93 miles from Kona, but not too bad a drive considering the roads are completely ice free. We took the drive down the coast and up Mauna Loa on Tuesday. The weather forecast was for rain and the guidebooks said to wear warm clothes. The park is near the top of a mountain, but 55ยบ is not much of a hardship and the rain held of until we got back to Kona.

This is a photo from the rim of the Kilauea crater or caldera. That gray surface is magma turned lava from the last eruption of the volcano. It's mostly cooled and possible to walk across. The hike is a round trip 4 miles.

NCW on the hike to the bottom. We took the shorter of the possible options, choosing to forego the trek across the crater, instead going down and back up the same switchback trail.

We made it to the bottom of the 1.2 mile hike, 400 feet or so lower in altitude than the rim.

The bottom of the crater. Hardened lava as far as you can see. It's an eerie sight. We hiked something over 5 miles as the crows fly for the day, but the up and down made it seem longer and made my dogs bark.

We had lunch at the Volcano House restaurant, did some more investigating and then began the long drive back to Kona.

The surf was pretty at all the beaches on the way back, and although the sunset was lost to the clouds, we have time yet to get a good photo of the sun as it goes down across the horizon from the beach by our rental.


Santini said...

Wow, that's a bunch of stuff for just a few days off the grid. I like a good cup of coffee myself, and it isn't all that easy to find one. Fresh off the plantation must be a pretty good brew.

Brave souls to walk into the heart of an active volcano. And 5 miles with a lot of up and down is impressive, even without considering that you're level 7's.

55 degrees is not too scary to you tundra dwellers, and you got to see a lot of exotic flora on that 93 miles, I'm sure.

The best part to me is the 25 yards to the ocean, and the sounds of waves as a background to your days. Nice. I'm also glad you and NCW are having such a great experience together, and missing a couple of weeks of winter on the tundra.

BDE said...

Ditto. Sounds SO fun and soulful.