We left Maui yesterday and sailed overnight to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii. We booked another shore excursion for today as one of the volcanoes has been erupting recently and Paul really wanted to see some lava! We boarded the coach at 9am, again the driver was really funny; he liked to tell jokes, sing to us and teach us popular Hawaiin phrases; the people here are so happy and fun to be around.
Our first stop was at Rainbow Falls, a beautiful waterfall that has a rainbow through it when the sun shines. We then went onto a macadamia nut factory and saw the machines and workers packaging the nuts into the products available in their gift shop. The smell was amazing and we got some free samples to try, mmmnn.
We then went onto the Volcanoes National Park and saw steam evaporating out of the ground where the magma below was heating it. We also saw the giant crater in the Kilauea volcano where a huge cloud of gas was pouring out, the gases are quite hazourdous to the villages nearby and sometimes they have to close the park if the wind changes direction. We were even able to go inside one of the lava tubes that the volcano created thousands of years ago, all that is left is a dark damp tunnel through the rock. Unfortunately, no lava to see at the moment.
All the islands of Hawaii are volcanoes created by plates crashing together and rising out of the sea, there are 137 islands altogether, but only 8 are inhabited by people. The big island is the only place that still has active volcanoes.
Our last stop was at an orchid garden where we saw some pretty flowers and I got a free flower for my hair. If you wear it on the left side of your head it means you are spoken for, if you wear it on the right you are single, so much easier when you go to a bar!