A large aspect of my life is travelling. I love going to new places and learning about them, especially the culture and nature. My family loves nature, so we have visited a lot of different national parks all over the country, and even a few in India. Last winter break (freshman year), we went to Hawaii for two weeks. It was one of the best trips in my life. Hawaii is so beautiful. The climate there is so warm and relaxed, and the people are very friendly. The nature is amazing, and it is so diverse. On one island, it goes from rocky beaches and blue waters, to tall, chilly, mountain tops, to thick, tropical jungle. The big island even has active lava flows that you can hike up to at your own risk (which we did).

Today I am just going to talk about one of my favorite days on the Big Island of Hawaii, but later I will post about Kauai and Maui as well!

My favorite day on the Big Island was December 26, 2017. I believe it was a Tuesday, but I may be wrong. We started the day off by visiting this waterfall called Rainbow Falls, called that because the mist from the falls often creates a rainbow.  It was really pretty sight, but it honestly wasn’t my favorite part of the day, because there wasn’t much to do other than look and take pictures.

Next, we want to this botanical garden, which was really big and well organized, so we spent a few hours there. It was amazing to see because the owners had found it in the late 70’s as a trashed up overgrown valley. They bought it and spent eight years cleaning up the valley and saving all the species of plants there, as well as creating trails to walk on.  It was also by the ocean, so for lunch we ate at a picnic bench by the water, with a nice gentle breeze cooling us down. It was definitely one of the best botanical gardens I have been to (the pictures are not as good)

After the botanical garden, it was around 4:00 in the afternoon. We went to this place that I had found online called Coconut Island. It turned out to be a joke. It was literally the smallest island ever, just a little patch of land, that you got by walking like 20 feet on a bridge, and there was nothing to do. We spent about five minutes there before deciding to head back. However, before leaving we stopped at a hotel to fill up our water bottles, which later turned out to be much more helpful than we had foreseen.

The next part of our day was one of the coolest things in my life, and it was a complete surprise to me. The day before I had been pretty bummed when I found out that we wouldn’t actually get to see real lava, because all the lava hikes were 12-14 miles long, with only a chance that you would actually see the lava. But, little to my knowledge, my dad had done research and found another lava hike that was only 3 or 4 miles long, but it was also at your own risk. So that is where my dad took us after the failed Coconut Island. First we had to walk along a gravel path for about a mile, which was pretty boring, but then we reached the hardened lava rock. The actual lava flow was about a mile away still, but this part was much more interesting but also tiring because the lava rock was very uneven and had little chips of glass in it. Our timing was perfect. As we got closer, the sky darkened, so you could see the lava better because it glowed. It was also cool because from behind, you got a nice cool breeze from the ocean, and in front, you got a warm breeze from the lava. It kind of felt like a sauna. We also had to be more careful as we got closer because if you touched the rock it felt very hot and you could look down in the cracks and see little tiny lines of hot lava. By the time, we reached the lava flow, it was completely dark, and we were exhausted, but it was amazing to see and experience, especially because you could physically feel the heat from the lava- it was almost overwhelming.






By the time we got back to our car, it was almost 10:00 at night, so we ordered pizza and picked it up on our way back to the rental cottage. When we got back, the power had gone out, and none of us wanted to shower in cold water, so we washed our hands and ate pizza in the dark, with a single lantern in the middle of the table.

Overall, it was one of the best days of my life.

(The pictures are taken either by me on my phone, or by my dad on his camera)