I’m lucky enough to have twice visited Hawaii’s Big Island. And although both trips unfortunately coincided with a pause in lava flowing into the sea, I still saw a whole host of incredible volcano-related things.
Naturally, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park featured prominently in both of my trips to the Big Island, not least because I can’t resist UNESCO World Heritage Sites! The main draw of the park is undoubtedly the caldera of Kilauea volcano. Especially after dark, when you can see the glow of the lava lake within Halema’uma’u Crater.
But Volcanoes National Park is overflowing with fascinating things to see and do, not least of which is a drive along Chain of Craters Road. Unsurprisingly, it gets its name from the series of craters it links, particularly in its upper stretches.
Yet for many people, the most striking thing about Chain of Craters Road is its abrupt end. Originally it looped around the southern coast of the island, linking the national park with Pahoa and Hilo. That all changed in 1983, when the Pu’u O’o vent on the south side of Kilauea began to erupt. Since then, numerous lava flows have engulfed almost eight miles of the road.
Coincidentally, I first travelled Chain of Craters Road three years ago this week, in December 2013. At that time, the end of the road could not have been more dramatic.
When I revisited the spot in April this year, I was surprised to discover how things have changed. Officially the road still ends at the same place, but an emergency escape route has now been established, roughly following the old path of the road.
The first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early next year.
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