I haven't updated for almost a month and to tell the truth, February was actually pretty uneventful. We read a lot of library books and ate a lot of wonderful food. It was a treat to just relax for so long and not feel like it was important to accomplish anything other than relaxing.
We are now in the last two weeks of our time on Hawaii and we have definitely picked up the pace. We moved out of our apartment on the first on March and are couch surfing with Uncle Bob again. The people who end up coming to stay at Bob's are typically of a high caliber and we have been so lucky to meet people from all over the world.
I had intense deja vu this week when a young couchsurfer named Joe showed up at Bob's. I felt like I knew him but couldn't place his face so just dismissed the feeling. Later in conversation it came out that in fact we had met in San Francisco while dumpster diving at Rainbow Grocery! I couldn't believe that this guy we had spent maybe 20 minutes with in San Francisco was now sleeping on the floor beside us in Hilo!
The highlights of this week and maybe our whole trip have been getting to go down into Waipio Valley and seeing the hot lava up close and personal!
Waipio is a very special place. A lush green valley surrounded by emerald cliffs and waterfalls and opening to the ocean on a mile long black sand beach. The road down into the valley is "the steepest road in the USA" and only accessible by 4 wheel drive. We walked down in ten minutes but would have taken an hour to get out by foot. Luckily, all 6 of us got a ride out in the back of a powerful pick-up truck. The people driving had seen us playing in the raging surf and felt obliged to give us a ride because they were hoping we would save them if they got caught in the rip tide!
Yesterday we tagged along with Katie and Jeneen again to Volcanos National Park. This was the third time we have been to the park but it is huge and full of amazing hiking and vistas. We played in the lava tube and then headed down Chain of Craters Road to have a picnic by the ocean.
After the park we went out to the county lava viewing site at Kalapana and checked to see where the lava is. It is free to see what you can from the road but the county restricts hikes over the lava to the actual flow to guided tours. We didn't want to pay $50 each so we killed time until after the security guards had left and came back with our gps, head lamps and hiking shoes. (This is extremely dangerous and I would never do it without someone who had previous experience. We had another couchsurfer with us, Alex who had experience.)
Oh my Bob, I have never seen anything so incredible. The soul of the earth, Pele's blood, the fire within! The only way you can explain the creation of new land seems to be with mystical metaphors. We roasted marshmallows over the lava and poked it with sticks. The ambient air temperature was at least 45 degrees Celsius and the lava itself is around 2000 degrees Celsius! The sound it made was like ice cracking and glass shattering.
We drove home completely satisfied and in awe of nature's creation.