Friday, December 28, 2018

Volcano to Kona: Lava Tubes, Green Sand Beaches, and McDonald's

Another day in sunny Volcano, Hawaii!

It was our last day at this Airbnb so I savored my last slice of buttered pink guava bread.

If you recall we had some cool volcanic rock behind a glass wall inside of our room. Well the Airbnb property was also home to a little tributary of Kazumura Cave. Kazumura is the longest and deepest lava tube in the world.

They had some helmets, gloves, and flashlights for us to rent and we headed down in to the darkness.

A definitely highlight of the tube was this silver spray-paint looking substance all over the cave walls. The Airbnb guy said that this was a type of algae or mold or something. I was impressed.

So the lava tube situation is: lava from the nearby volcano travels out toward the ocean. As it travels the outermost lava cools and hardens which insulates in the inner lava which continues its journey, thus creating a big ol tube.


Back towards the room, above ground, there were some pretty cool plants.

I was especially excited about these pitcher plants. See vegans, even plants are out there butchering things and eating them.

Mark Twain spent some time roaming around Hawaii, which is awesome. I wouldn't have thought too many 1800s Missouri boys would've made it out here. So I had to stop at Mark Twain's monkey pod tree. I sorta think this story is BS but the sign said

"Mark Twain, the famous American author, came to Hawai'i in 1866 as an unknown journalist. On horseback, Twain rode here to Wai'ohinu Village which he described as a place  where "trees and flowers flourish luxuriantly". During his stay he planted what is now known as The Mark Twain Monkey Pod Tree". Cool.

Another spot that we followed Mark Twain to was the famous green sanded Papakolea Beach. The path there is too real for a rental car, and the guys giving rides there seemed shady, so we just hoofed it. I think the guide book lied to us on this one. I was expecting a pretty leisurely trek but this one really kicked my ass.

So the green sand wasn't like neon green or anything but it has a definite green tinge. It is one of only four green sand beaches on earth. The green color comes from olivine sand released as the water erodes volcanic rock.

The tourists packed into the shoddy pickups driving through the dunes had sort of a Taliban thing going on.

It was pretty long hike over rough terrain and it beat me down pretty thoroughly.

Goodbye Volcano. Time for Kona!

I made a startling discovery during my time in Hawaii and I felt like it needed to be preserved in meme form.

Ok two startling discoveries.

While we were waiting for our food at a real restaurant that had no bathroom, we popped over to the nearby McDonald's for a potty break. I picked up a couple of Hawaiian delicacies while I was there, as is my custom.

Flat tire on the back of the Jeep looking legit.

That night we did some snorkle manta ray watching. The seas were pretty choppy and I was happy when I was back on land, but I did get to see a couple of rays. They are pretty crazy looking creatures.

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