Shake and I spent a week and a half on the Big Island with our hanai (“adopted”) parents earlier this month. My big regret (besides getting sick at the end of the trip) was not taking a wide-angle lens, which would’ve really been useful. I didn’t because I’m tired of lugging around so much gear, and I opted for the 50mm and the 70-300mm instead, and barely used the long lens at all. You always want the thing you’re not carrying, right? (In case you’re feeling like you want to buy me a Christmas present, this would be fantastic.)
This isn’t my regular post format (I usually like to write a bit more), but I’m going to try something different since I took so many photos and, like I said, I’ve been sick, so not much time for writing, much less photo processing and captioning. Hope you like. (This is just a portion of the photos. For more, check out the full gallery.) Hover over the photos for more detailed captions.
And, yes, the title of this gallery is “Postcards From the Volcano,” but this was our first stop: South Point, or Ka Lae. Deciding to take no wide-angle lens means you can’t see in this photo just how immense these cliffs were — probably about 30-40 feet high, at least.
Moving on: Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. Also at the southern end of the Big Island.
The bed & breakfast we stayed at in Hilo, Old Hawaiian Bed & Breakfast, had a beautiful garden out back, with tons of flowers and fruit trees. Breakfast each morning featured multiple fruits fresh-picked from the yard by the owners. The yard was great — I took a wrong turn at the palm grove and ended up in the neighbors’ yard. Oops.
We are here. (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.)
Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano summit. Day.
Miscellaneous volcanic landscapes:
Welcome to Mordor.
If you’re interested in seeing what this shot looked like before processing (it’s an HDR composite), visit the gallery.
What lava looks like. Well, some of it. Lava varies greatly. In this particular area, there were a lot of little pebbly bits.
An enlargement of a section of the previous photo. In the left third, you can see a very thin gold “hair.” This is “Pele’s hair” — bits of lava that fly up into the air during eruption and cool in thin strands before it hits the ground. It’s as thin as real hair, but made of rock, so you want to be careful it doesn’t blow into your eye.
Out of the Park and back to our volcano jungle retreat, Kipuka Cottage.
Kipuka belongs to a friend of ours who built it as his little volcano jungle getaway. It has amazing windows all around. It’s a beautiful place to stay (my photos don’t do it justice), very convenient to visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and available for rent. But if you want to stay, you should have a sense of humor (there are quirky design touches like a bust of a man perched on a pole outside staring into the bedroom window), and be comfortable with the fact that there aren’t any curtains. Anywhere. Even in the bathroom.
And we’ve moved on again, this time to Kona.
The view from our room at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort. Our room looked out over a tide pool lagoon — and beyond that, to the ocean — where we could see turtles, fish and eels daily. Shake named the smallest, prettiest (he had the nicest shell) turtle “Otis Redding Turtle.” There was also a pair of cute kitties (OK, they were really scruffy up close, but we mostly saw them from several stories up so I thought they were durned cute) who loafed around on the rocks. We found out a few days after we returned home that the hotel is being closed down at the end of October and is slated for demolition. We didn’t know while we were staying there that we could never go back.
We were about to leave for dinner when Shake noticed lights out on the reef. Guys were out with nets and spears, probably looking for octopus.
So that pretty much wraps it up for our vacation adventures. We also visited a fantastic tiki bar in Kona that features craft cocktails, but I’ll be doing a separate post on that. Stay tuned! (Of course, if you want to cheat, you can just go to the full photo gallery and take a sneak peek at the photos.)