Greetings and welcome to another installment of my travelogue, the internets’ answer to the yawn inducing slide-shows of yon. Alisha and I have spent the past three weeks hiking, camping exploring and snorkling just about every place we could find and all the while I’ve been putting my new ebay bargain 55mm Micro Nikkor macro lens through the paces. As you can see from the photos they are much clearer and cleaner than before mostly thanks to this sharp lens.
Much to the chagrin of everyone we traveled with I took hundreds of photos, stopping every few feet to stick my camera in something or anothers grill. Rather than inundate you with all these I figured I would simply just go over my favorite areas and photos from there.
Ill start with Waipio Valley; an incredibly steep walled valley with a grade so steep it will make you cry. Its a mile walk (or drive if you have 4wd and nerves of steel) to the bottom and its more or less straight down the whole way. We were treated to some incredible aerial views of the marshes and taro root patches on the steep hike down.
The far end of Waipio valley with the barely visible trail leading into Waimanu Valley – A journey for another trip.
We decided we wanted to go all the way to the waterfall and were pretty prepared for the task. After we hiked to the bottom of valley and walked further in towards the back we then hiked along side the stream until we hit a large chest deep reservoir which we had to ford. Youll have to excuse the blurryness of the photo for this reason Its difficult to properly shoot when you are half submerged in water.
Alisha rocking it Indiana Jones stylee
We knew the journey was inevitably going to end up fruitless since Hi’ilawe Falls was all but a trickle that day as well as being overcast; (It was raging a few weeks before) however we hiked as far as we could in until the trail disappeared and left us boulder hopping in the middle of the river to as near to the base as we could get. Once again, a journey for another day. I won’t even bother to include the obligatory photo I shot as it will just make you sad. Instead, do as I do, and imagine a 1400 foot water fall in full throttle cascading down onto piles of mossy green boulders ahhhh much better. I did get a chance to snap a photo of a dragonfly
We spent several days at Volcanoes National Park right down the street from where we stayed and did the Napau Trail which is a 7 mile hike which goes 4 miles through the lava wasteland. I
Alisha loves Lava the Hut
A sneak peek at what we can look forward to after the fundamentalists play out their apocalypse myths
Just when you think you cant handle any more you come to the edge of Makaopuhi Crater and instantly you are immersed in a rainforest with old growth Hapu’u Fern Trees. Its a little jarring Nows as good a time as any to share my fantastic collection of unfurling fern fronds
This is where we camped! an Uluhe Fern Forest right next to Pu’u O’o, the active vent where the lava was flowing.
Whats a visit to Volcanoes without a pic of the crater?
Not to give you the impression that we didnt spend a bunch of time in the water, unfortunately I couldn’t photograph the astounding reefs we snorkled but none the less the reefs out of water were fun to photograph in moderate surf. I still haven’t been clobbered by a rogue wave so Im keeping my fingers crossed.
Anenome Scrub Bubbles which live on rocks in some of the most intense pounding surf I’ve ever see. The will also clean your bathtub.
A Dried Scrub Bubble (my name) and its Hexagonal armor and shell underneath. This guy is now a part of my collectors cabinet, well if it survivies the flight back
Postcard Fodder: Insert your chesy comment here.
Hounouanoua (place of refuge) if you commited some transgression punishible by death and could get here before people caught you – your sins would be pardoned – Basically a get out of jail free card.
The macro lens strikes again – this is right after I cleaned my CCD sensor for the first time and removed a dusty film which was leaving specs, ghosts and generally degrading the quality of my images. I for one can see the improvement in clarity . Word to the wise: if you have a digital SLR 1) Theres only one place to get a CCD cleaning kit in Hawaii and thats at the lighthaus in Kona and it costs damn near 60 dollars (as opposed to 15 on ebay) 2) dont be tempted, as I was, to think you could blow a little speck of dust off with your mouth. You cant. Youll get specks of spittle on your sensor. It was a photography nightmare.
Some more random plants and insect photos
In Kona at Lava Java there is an armada of these pint sized vultures waiting to swoop down and clean your plate as soon as you walk away. However they dont mind being handfed.
Lava textures just for the hell of it. Luckily I took these photos before the allure of the lava wore off completely- well… cooled lava that is. We did the frowned upon, not so often talked about, and sort of dangerous night hike from the viewing area right up to the edge of where the lava meets the water. The viewing area officially closes at 10 and if you show up after you can walk as close to the lava as your common sense will allow, for me that was a respectful distance, you know… where the lava stone under your feet is hot, there are steam cracks with intense hot steam coming out all around and the eruption ahead of you is spewing grapefruit sized chunks of molten rock in the air. If anyone else chooses to do this of their own volition I would highly recommend reading as much as you can on all the NGS Hawaii National Parks lava update site to make sure its not a very bad idea. Anyways on with the eruption photos – all are timelapse and the semi erie lighting is partially due to the full moon and the vog overhead.