Drove into Hilo this morning and wandered around for an hour or so. Had a shave ice, they are advertised everywhere and I thought they must be a local delicacy, which was far too much sugary syrup for our liking, although the boy liked it. The farmers' markets were being held and we had a look at the somewhat poor quality produce for sale. Did a little bit more shopping at SackNSave.
Miky and Yu-Jin had a swim in the hotel pool while I cooked fish for lunch. We watched telly for a while then drove up to Volcanoes National Park together. Showed Miky the steam vents and the crater before heading down Craters Rim Drive. They both slept pretty much all the way.
The sign at the end of the road indicated a 4 mile hike due to take 4-6 hours in the daylight to get to the lava flow. When we arrived at walking marker no. 5 we asked everybody returning if they had seen the lava and how long did it take. Everyone had a different story - 4 1/2 hours, 2 hours there and 2 hours back, go to the 6th marker then walk 45 minutes. Other people said 2 1/2 hours past the 6th marker and hadn't seen anything. We had left the car park at 5pm and stopped at 10 to 7. Then two girls came and said that they had left the lava at 6:05, therefore, it was only 45 minutes away. We decided that I would go on alone and Miky and Yu-Jin would head back.
Impressive lava flow
Miles of lava
Warning Marker No.2
After 20 minutes of very quick walking I decided to turn back. Way in the distance. I had seen something orange but thought that it might be 1-1/2 hours away and wasn't worth the bother. Besides, it was getting quite dark and difficult to see. Time for the torch. Decided to turn back at 7:20. Thought that Miky would be cursing me anyway.
Caught up with them, after asking everyone that I came across if they had seen them, at 8:30. Miky had been really enjoying the serenity and solitude although Yu-Jin was a bit concerned. We arrived at the car park at 9pm. Having the wind at your back certainly made life easier but it seemed that the lava crumbled under your feet so much easier in the dark.
Temperature at sea level was about 73 degrees Fahrenheit after having been about 78 all day long and up at the visitors centre, at 4000 feet above sea level, it had dropped to 55. Arrived home about 10:10pm. My legs acted as though I was on uneven ground still. Had a hot bath to try to counteract the inevitable aches and pains. Dead tired.