Saturday, October 08, 2011

My Hawaiian Vacation, Pt. 5

Now we come to one of the big highlights of the trip: an hour-and-a-half-long helicopter ride over the Big Island. This was a lot of money, but whatever my credit card debt ends up being next month, it was worth it, because this is the most stunningly beautiful way to see the island you can possibly imagine. We got an aerial guided tour as we drifted past waterfalls, dipped into beautiful remote valleys, and hovered over volcanoes. Correction, make that active volcanoes. Well, one active volcano, anyway. We were told by the guide that in the thirteen years he'd been doing these flights, he'd put that day's lava-flow activity from Kilauea somewhere in the top five. Of course, that guy doubtless has reason to want to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth, but the local paper agreed; it was indeed being pretty darned active. And if you look at Volcanoes National Park's "What's Going on with the Volcano?" page, you might see a note about interesting activity starting on September 22nd. We flew over on the morning of the 23rd.

Unfortunately, most of the photos I tried to take from the helicopter didn't come out very well, mostly because certain people not in our party did not follow the instructions about wearing dark clothes to minimized reflections on the windows. But that's OK, because 1) there's a DVD of the whole thing somewhere that someone is supposed to make me a copy of eventually, and 2) the pictures I took of the most exciting part came out beautifully. Look! Lava! Actual flowing, glowing lava!

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