26.10.07

My Hawaii Cruise - Part II

Volcano Caldera - Wide
The volcano caldera was incredibly beautiful (and remember, it's toxic gas!)

The second half of my Hawaii vacation was just as great as the first! Our third port was Hilo - and we took a helicopter tour out to the lava fields. Not less than 3 people working for the tour company told us how much they'd rather be surfing, swimming or just out that day the weather was so nice. Normally that side of the island gets a lot of rain, but we were lucky enough to get sunny most days, and only partially cloudy the rest - no rain (except for the last couple days at sea, on the way back.)

Volcano Caldera over Macadamia Nut FieldsSo, here's the caldera, the opening that the sulfuric gas seeps out of. Boy, it was hard to photograph because it was such a bright white. I wish I knew more about my camera settings, so that I could've compensated for that more. I got more good shots of the smoke than I thought, though. This one (to the left) is my favorite; we were pretty far out yet, and I got the macadamia nut fields in the foreground with the caldera in the back. They line the nut fields with those taller trees to help break the wind, so they get better crops. I thought they were cool, all square & perfect compared to the rest of nature's organic shapes.

Lake of Lava
Lake of lava, shaded by a very convienent cloud.

River of LavaHere's the lava, and boy was it flowing that day! (We took the tour Sat. Oct 13th.) We got to see lots of red lava, and I even got some good pictures of it! The movement of the helicopter made it difficult, and a few came out blurry - but overall I'm happy with the pictures. We also bought the dvd of our tour, and when we were re-watching it I caught some vulcanologists walking along the active fronts! Talk about scary! (The quality wasn't super great, but I can try and get a screencap if anybody's interested!)

Later that day, we also went to a tropical botanical garden. It had this horrible ramp down into the park, and then back up out (at the beginning and end,) that really did a number on my knees; but I enjoyed the walk around anyway. Thank goodness our tour guide recommended the insect repellent - only my husband got bitten, and it was only once. Mosquitoes love the taste of me, so I was pleasantly surprised to come out unscathed. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous... they came in all sorts of tropical variations, and all colors. The orchids were by far my favorites, although I didn't see any cymbidiums that I recognized.

Botanical Garden - Orchid
Aren't they amazing? I love the confetti spots!

The next day we went to Honolulu, and my wonderful husband found me a fabric store! I just couldn't leave Hawaii without Hawaiian fabric, (and a pattern for my own Hawaiian quilt!) and even though I got a lot, it was so cheap! After that we walked along Waikiki Beach, and it was so nice to walk along the water. The sun was very bright and the tide felt so nice. I'm glad I picked up a new pair of aquatic sandals before we left, I wouldn't have been able to walk so far barefoot - it was fairly rocky with only broken shells and coral.

Waikiki Beach - Diamond Head
Diamond Head over Waikiki Beach.

After that we went to June's Gelato, which tickled me pink since I thought gelato was a mostly European treat. Vanilla bean might sound plain, but it hit the spot after a fairly long walk along the beach. We were in Honolulu until 1AM, but we didn't bother trying to do anything else, I was pretty tired after 5 port days in a row. Normally I like a couple days at sea to recharge a little.

Honolulu Pier
The gelato place was towards the left, and the ship is on the right.

About a day out the sea from Honolulu, we found out there was a medical emergency on the ship, and that we'd have to turn around and go back. Fortunately, the passenger made it to the hospital in Honolulu, and was doing well; but it put us a whole day behind schedule. We charged back over the Pacific, at over 24kts (which is really fast for a giant cruise ship!)

If you're interested, check out my flickr collection for more of my vacation photos! Thanks for looking!

3 comments:

  1. Great photos (and commentary) - thanks!

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  2. Thanks for sharing! You took some really beautiful shots!

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  3. YES!! LAVA! awesome. I am completely jealous.

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