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ContikiAnime Expo 2000

Well, here's a day by day report on both my Contiki and AX trip(s)!! The photos are at the bottom of each page!

19th June 2000

Another 7am rise. This time, it's to check out of our nice, large room in the Ocean Resort Hotel, and off to the airport. This plane trip, though, was better than my one from Sydney to Honolulu - it was a 30m flight from Honolulu to Hilo, on the "Big Island" - Hawaii!

Getting off the plane at Hilo was cool - it was so green there! Much more green than Honolulu. It should be - Hilo is on the windward side and gets all of the rain. And, unfortunately, all the storms, too. But it was a great, tropical airport. We didn't stay there for long - it was off to the Volcanoes National Park!

When we got to the Park, though, it was cloudy and spotting with rain. And not exactly warm up the top, either. We stopped off at the museum at the top of the volcano, where you can see the inside of the caldera. It's active, but the only thing we could see happening was some steam, and some yellow vapour (sulfur!) floating around. Oh, well... There were lots of beautiful paintngs relating to Pele, the volcano goddess, in the museum, though. This volcano, Kilauea, was thought to be the home of Pele.

(Apparently, it's bad luck to take the lava away from the volcano - some people say that Pele puts a curse on you if you do so. I didn't bother picking up any lava to test this out, but.... who knows!)

Next on our stop at the park, we went for a hike to an overlook to see into a live caldera, and see the lava flowing to the sea (or at least creeping to the sea) with the steam rising up from the water.

It was an hour and a half hike, return... but when we got to the lookout, all we saw was clouds, clouds and more clouds. ;_;

I'll have to go again, on a clear day, one year and actually see some flowing lava!!

The next thing was a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. Formed from lava flowing underneath the cooled crust of lava on top, the tube was huge - I'll bet you could drive in that thing!!

Anyway, we left the Park and headed for Kailua-Kona... this drive was the longest we took on this trip, due to the winding roads. (It was like being going to see Puffing Billy or something - the plants and winding roads and the clouds - just like Melbourne!)

We did a quick stop off at the Black Sands Beach, where the sand is actually black! The photos I took like like someone's made a negative, because of the sand, but it's actually black. Black, coarse pieces of sand, made from lava. It was cool to see something other than the usual yellow sand, back home. We even got to see a sea turtle swimming near by! I took a photo, but a wave covered it, and my second photo was the last on the film, and was half cut off... :(

We reached our hotel at Kailua-Kona, settled in, and went for a little walk. Nat and I found internet access when we went to buy stamps and post our postcards, so we got online for a bit, too. ^_^

Then it was dinner, a shourt tour around the town and then bed, after another tiring day!

Day Three
Day Five

Here's a list of the images - select the link or the thumbnails (they have been cropped, so the largest images are shown in full) to view them!

Honolulu to Hilo Honolulu to Hilo - Check out the view of one of the Hawaiian islands, from the plane! (I always sit near the wing, for some reason...)
Kilauea Caldera Kilauea Caldera - Martin, Rob, Craig, Nat, myself, Ken and Lilly in front of the caldera. (See the steam?!)
No Volcano! No Volcano! - Clouds cover our view of the caldera, the lava and the steaming waters... *sniff* But you can see lots of plants.
Me at the Lava Tube Me at the Lava Tube - There's plants growing down through the tube above me, and the ominous black behind me is the tube. There are lights in there, though! (Phew!)
Thurston Lava Tube Thurston Lava Tube - Here's the photo that I took while inside the lava tube. It's huge in there!!
The Black Sand Beach The Black Sand Beach - It's not your monitor - the sand really is black!

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