The Kalapana Lava Flows

One of the first places I wanted to see on the Big Island were the Kalapana Lava Flows. I’ve never seen volcanos or lava before so I was really excited!

We drove there in the evening because we wanted to see how it glows. The carpark was about 1 hour 45 walking time away from the flow. It was already pretty dark when we parked the car. The path was lit up with small lanterns on both sides and winded along the cost. We could hear the waves crashing on the rocks and the wind blowing a cool breeze with a mixed smell of saltwater and a bit of sulfur. Most people we saw came towards us, going back to their cars. The whole time we could see that red light at the horizon where tha lava made its way into the ocean. After each little hill we crossed I thought we would reach our destination, but the path seemed never ending.

Then the air around us became slowly hotter. The fed light at the horizon became brighter and finally we crossed the last little hill. The path went on, but the lava had covered and buried it with now cooled off, rock hard, black lava. To see the flowing lava we had to walk over those cooled off lava rocks. The heat was overwhelming, it felt like I was trapped in an oven. With our flashlights on we made our way closer to the source of all that heat.

There were little lava flows everywhere and I felt like the soles of my shoes melted into the ground. Then one rock started cracking quietly under our feet. Quickly we jumped onto other stones, which didn’t make that sound. About 1 minute later the stone we sold on cracked open and a bubble of lava popped out of the ground. I was standing just about 2m away from it, when it started pouring out of the crack. A bright red color and a head that came from the liquid stone that now flowed downhill towards the ocean.

And that’s where we went. We made our way across more cooled off lava and finally came to an about 15m deep cliff. The loud and sizzling noise of lava falling into the ocean which seemed like it was boiling and sending off wads of smoke towards the sky. It was breathtaking! Being able to see how the Island grows. Seeing it with my own eyes and hearing it with my own ears! We just stood there in silence and watched how nature created new land.

The Kalapana Lava Flow
The Kalapana Lava Flow
Lava falling into the ocean
Lava falling into the ocean

 

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