TREK AMERICA, THE BIG ISLAND, HAWAII. DAY THREE.

Today we woke up slightly early so we could be on the Kilauea Iki trail before 9am and beat some of the heat (compared to the Southern Sun tour I did last year, I love that on this one we get lie ins due to no long drives!!) The Kilauea Iki is a pit crater which is next to the main summit of Kilauea, an eruption occurred here in 1959 when lava burst from a half mile crack in the crater. 
trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail

On arrival we was welcomed to a picture perfect view of a rainbow over the crater, a good sign for the day? The descent to the crater goes through a lush rainforest filled with insects and birds and was slightly muddy due to some rain. Our group ended up splitting into two, with the group I was walking with slightly ahead and one of them acting as a guide to point out places of interest. 
trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail

trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail
trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail
How many of you have seen lord of the rings? (All of you I hope) On arriving on the crater, a solidified yet still steaming, rocky terrain I instantly thought of Sam and Frodos walk across Mordor but at least I could pretend for a while I was in some epic fantasy adventure. The crater was jagged and smooth in places with a sparkly floor, although we were walking from one side to the other marker stones are put in place to follow, we however decide to go a little of course and I am sure if our tour guide was with us he would have stopped us! 
trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail

trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail
trek america hawaii kilauea iki trail
A few of us decided to be more 'adventurous' and climb up a little rocky hill, with stones that tumbled away under your feet, a few of us discarded our bags to make the climb a little bit easier. Once at the top we posed for pictures and absorbed the vastness of the crater around us, thankfully we all made it up and down with no injuries..

The start of the crater is quite jagged but as you move further along the crater it gets smoother and flatter. In total the hike was four miles and fairly easy, with an unexpected breeze in the crater that kept us cool, the hardest part was the descent back up through the rainforest. I am not the fittest (although I have now joined a gym) and a few people were quite shocked to learn that I did no exercise at home but kept up with everyone at front, I was to I think I was trying really hard to suppress my heavy breathing. 

One thing I was so excited about when I booked this tour was going inside a lava tube, when they updated the itinerary they removed anything to do with a lava tubes so I thought we might not get the chance to see one but I was wrong. At the top we waited for everyone else to catch up, me and another was slightly growing impatient waiting for everyone, we were being eager to carry onto the next part and see the Thurston lava tube! 
trek america hawaii thurston lava tube

trek america hawaii thurston lava tube
Almost as if you were stepping into a fairytale portal to another world the cave was shrouded in vines and plants creating a beautiful entrance to an unseen world. Caves are created when a river of lava gradually builds solid walls and a ceiling, with the walls covered in spectacular colourings from minerals found in the lava. It took a couple of minutes to walk through this part of but it was well worth it. 

As I have mentioned in my other Hawaiian posts (and keeping with what I think are interesting things I have learnt) Pele is the goddess of fire, the Hawaiian's observe her activity and give her names to suit her mood/activity, if she erupts inside a crater she is called Kawahineokalua, the woman of the pit, when she flows through forest she is the eater of the land so given the name Kawahine'aihonua and lastly since volcanoes and lava create new land she is given the name Pelehonuamea. 

trek america hawaii chain of craters
Sticking with the volcano theme of the day, after lunch we headed to the chain of craters which is a 19 mile winding path through the East rift and coastal area of Hawaii.The road was originally opened in 1928 and was partly buried in the 1969 flow, the chains of crater road was reopened again in 1979 since 1986 lava has flowed repeatedly over the chain of craters. The lava here has changed the landscape dramatically, looking at the hill you can easily see the two types of lava flow aa (ah-ah) from the 1969-74 Mauna Ulu eruptions and pahoehoe lava from a 2003 flow. 
trek america hawaii chain of craters

trek america hawaii chain of craters
trek america hawaii chain of craters
trek america hawaii chain of craters
trek america hawaii chain of craters
trek america hawaii chain of craters
The lava we walked over was beautiful and shiny, with different colours which comes from minerals found in the lava for example brown shades shows signs of iron, I felt like I was walking on a planet that someone had melted silver over. We walked over the lava until we came to a bit of road that survived this lava flow, it is odd to think this tiny bit of road managed to survive. 

At the end of the chain of craters there was a small trail that led down to the ocean to the Holei sea arch was cut into the cliff around 550 years ago and is slowly crumbling and will one day to seize to exist, it was nice to see the ocean splattered and dance through the little archway. The fruit over here is amazing and I tried a lilikoi juice which was so good!!

We then headed up to the visitor center to look around the gift shops and little museum, it was at this point I fully became away of how burnt my back was! Even though I wore factor 50, my shoulder did not survive snorkeling from the first day and was a nice bright lobster red. I really enjoyed looking around the little museum they had, it explained how life came to Hawaii because as we all know it is in the middle of the pacific ocean with miles of ocean between any other huge land mass. One way animals such as snails migrated was my hitching a ride on the legs of sea birds, which I found fascinating but I am geeky about that kind of stuff! 

VOLCANO WINERY
trek america hawaii volcano winery
On the way back to camp a few of us decided to do a $5 wine tasting, I have never done a wine tasting of any sort and not being a a big drinker I was slightly worried it might go straight to my head. The wine was nice and you could taste the different blends of ingredients, I much preferred the white wines! We also got to try some tea to cleanse the palette which was my favourite part of the tasting. 

Back at camp I was feeling a lot more awake than the night before, we ate under the pavilion playing games and drinking hot chocolate. The sky looked incredible tonight and I really wish I had a camera that could capture it, I have seen some of the most amazing skies in America and I only wish more people could see the sky at night in pristine conditions with no light pollution because it is truly beautiful. 




  1. That rainbow is so lovely.

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