Monday, September 7, 2009

Touring Puna

Saturday we planned to meet my friend from Travelers To Go, Matnikstym, who had offered to give us the tour of the Puna district. We started out by visiting the painted church:

Next stop was the Lava Trees state park. The lava trees were created when hot lava covers wet, green trees. The lava drains away, leaving a coating around the tree. The tree dies, and nothing is left but the lava tube. It's a little eerie. And the ground is cracked as well, from the eruptions of the late 1800s.

We drive around Puna a bit more after that, looking at the shore, checking out the black sand beach at Kehana (where I did not actually take pictures of the beach because I wasn't sure the unclothed bathers would really appreciate it).

We drove down the Puna Red Road, although the road is no longer red, at least most of it is not. Still, it's a pretty drive through jungle-like foliage.

Next stop, the tidepools at the Wai'opae marine reserve. We're going to snorkel in the pools here. The pools are protected from the open ocean by lava shelf, and coral. And some of them are warmed by geothermal heat. We swim out through a couple of the warmer ones, to get out closer to the ocean. The water is cooler here, but the coral is spectacular. We spent an hour or more snorkeling here, and it was great.

Here are a few more fish pictures.

We stopped at the state park to shower off and change into dry clothes for the rest of our evening. It was about 4PM now, and we went to Kalapana cafe to have a late lunch/early supper before going to the lava viewing. Kalapana cafe makes an excellent burger, and also chicken katsu sandwich. It helped that we were famished from our swim.

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