The quest for flowing lava

Volcano National Park - 1

Now that I’m on big Island, one thing I can do is see a active volcano. So I headed to the Hawai’i Volcano National Park on the east side of the island with a friend I met at the hostel. We started by heading to the main crater, the Kilauea Caldera. The volcano used to be bigger but the mountain collapsed on itself after one of the numerous eruption of the last centuries. And somewhere in the middle, the active crater spilling volcanic gases which result in the closing of the road on the south-west side of the volcano.

Volcano National Park - 1

Volcano National Park - 2

Volcano National Park - 1

After that we headed for the Sulphur Banks where more volcanic gases seep from the the ground and deposit sulphur crystals and other minerals on the rocks around the steam vents.

Volcano National Park - 2

Volcano National Park - 1

Along all the trails around the Sulphur Banks and the rim of the caldera you can see steam vents. You can put your hand on the steam but you’ll quickly realize that it,s still really hot. Maybe someone should bring food and try to steam cook them.

Volcano National Park - 3

Then we went for a small hike in the Kilauea Iki crater where you can walk on a frozen lava lake from the 1959 eruption.

Volcano National Park - 2

With every crack in the lava, life finds its way.

Volcano National Park - 3

Volcano National Park - 4

Volcano National Park - 6

A flow of fresh lava cut the road along the ocean in 2003.

Volcano National Park - 7

Volcano National Park - 8

While you walk on the frozen lava flow, always watch were you put your feet because there are some crack in the lava that can be quite deep and which would be really painful if you ever felt in one of them.

Volcano National Park - 9

Two days later on our way to Hilo, we stopped at the end of the road on the west side of the lava flow trying to find some red and hot flowing lave. The problem right now is that the lava is flowing outside the national park and on private property. But with the advice from some people with whom we talk to we tried our luck on our own so we didn’t have to pay $100 each to have a guide walking us to where the lava is visible. But after walking for about an hour, and tough we were keeping our distances from anyone, we were spotted by one of the guide who came to us to tell us that we were on private land and that we were the leave…

We played and we lost.

Maybe I’ll get luckier next time or maybe I’ll find a cheaper tour.

More pictures available on the Flickr gallery

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About the author: Xavier


In September 2011, I left Belgium to travel around the world with the intention of seeing every places I've always dreamed about and sharing them through the pictures I take on the way.


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  • sabine

    ah ben bravo!!!! le roi de l economie!!!!
    tu l as trouve maintenant ta lave rouge????


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