Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

incandescent mouth
Passengers on a speedboat watch the underground lava from Kilauea volcano meet the Pacific Ocean.
Coast of Fire
Lava in contact with the sea releases smoke and generates flames on the south side of the Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island.
entrance to the underworld
Visitor enters a lava tunnel inside the Volcanoes National Park.
No way out
Couple walks through a sea of ​​solidified lava that has covered a road on the southern edge of the Big Island.
goddess skin
Image of the deity of volcanoes, Pele, with his lava hairs.
cloned smoke
Smoke released from several underground lava tunnels of the Kilauea volcano.
Earth & Lava
Southern Big Island's harsh setting.
plant resilience
Life returns even under the solidified lava of the Kilauea volcano.
Dantesque vision
Roy Carvalho's (Lava Tours) boat passenger photographs the distant smoke on the south coast of the Big Island.
lava river
Incandescent lava flows from the Earth's interior into the Pacific Ocean.
solitary walk
A child walks along a walkway towards a crater in the Volcanoes National Park.
volcanic audience
Crowds wait for sunset to glimpse the flow of glowing lava into the Pacific Ocean.
volcanic passage
Couple photographs the interior of a lava tunnel.
steaming Kilauea
The center of the crater of Kilauea volcano, the most active volcano in the world.
volcanic threshold
Smoke drifts from the boundary between the Big Island's heated surface and the Pacific Ocean.
Supreme lava
Solidified lava released by Kilauea interrupts a road south of the Big Island.
black course
Casal walks on a solid lava surface in the Volcanoes National Park.
There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.

The largest island in Hawaii and the United States lent, in the original version, the name to the archipelago of the Pacific. To avoid confusion, it is now known as the Big Island.

The title is not misleading. With an area of ​​10.432 km2, its surface is twice that of the other islands together. The Big Island keeps getting bigger.

Five volcanoes connect it to the interior of the earth's crust. Two of them channel lava in overwhelming amounts and deposit it on the surface of the island and the adjoining sea.

Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Visitor enters a lava tunnel inside the Volcanoes National Park.

dormant, the Mauna Kea it is the highest mountain in the world if measured from the seabed. Kilauea, on the other hand, is the most active on the planet and its overwhelming presence means that the other natural features of the island are subject to volcanic prominence.

The second city in the 50th US state, Hilo has the status of historic and tourist outpost. It welcomes visitors to the island and sends them to where it smokes most. As a rule, privileged places are sheltered by the Volcanoes National Park, which brings together lush and inhospitable areas on the slopes of Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Smoke released from several underground lava tunnels of the Kilauea volcano.

The latter shows infrequent signs of life, not least because, above 3.900 meters, its summit spends part of the winter covered by a blanket of snow, but appearances are deceiving. The interior of the wide cone shelters a lake of lava that, from time to time, overflows and releases incandescent rivers that sow destruction.

On these occasions, properly accredited scientists and photographers obtain the spectacular photographs and videos that renew one of the most dramatic images of Hawaii in the world.

Unfortunately, when we explore the Volcanoes National Park, all the lava flows through underground tunnels and is only visible near the sea, many kilometers to the southeast. We are thus temporarily limited to contemplating the smoldering and smoking crater of Kilauea and other lunar landscapes.

Smoking Kilauea, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

The center of the crater of Kilauea volcano, the most active volcano in the world.

In Search of the Big Island Lava. The Unstoppable Kilauea

We follow the Chain of Craters Road that takes us along the southern slope of Kilauea and we proceed along a sea of ​​solid lava with shifting patterns and textures, sometimes roped and sometimes cushioned.

The asphalt reaches the top of a cliff from which you can see a steeper extension of the slope, and black kilometers ahead, the dark blue of the ocean.

Isolated fragments of vegetation spared by lava or, in the view of Hawaiian mythology, by the fire goddess Pele are detected at spaces.

The road goes uphill and cuts through the lava carpet. In a short time, it approaches the smoky seashore, increasingly reeking with sulphur. We look for the trail that is supposed to take us to Pu'u Loa and its petroglyphs. Unexpectedly, at a certain point, the lava overlays the asphalt and a traffic sign dictates the end of the route: “Road Closed”.

No Exit, Big Island Hawaii, Volcoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Couple walks through a sea of ​​solidified lava that has covered a road on the southern edge of the Big Island.

The day is drawing to a close and the environment is unstable and inhospitable, not to mention dangerous. The park authorities themselves advise against walking beyond that limit.

As such, we returned to the car and Hilo, determined to find a way to observe the glowing lava better than the hundreds of meters of distance allowed by authorities in its area of ​​jurisdiction.

Lava Roy's Ocean Adventures Desperate Solution

A simple brochure at the reception of the inn where we had stayed introduces us to Lava Roy's Tours, which has since been promoted to Lava Roy's Ocean Adventures. As both names indicate, he owns and manages the company Roy Carvalho, the owner of Portuguese descent, with a grandfather from Aveiro and the other half of the Japanese family.

Roy is helped by Kiko Freitas, descendant of Azorean emigrants but also others with blood already crossed, from Guam and the Philippines.

For some time now, this willful but calm duo had spotted a gap both in Hilo's tourism offer and in the legislation of the big island of Hawaii.

First approached by visitors frustrated by the prohibition to get closer to the lava, then by their initiative and promotion, the pair began to transport passengers in boats that manned up to the mouth of the tunnels.

We find them in their makeshift headquarters in the Isaac Hale Park car park, more precisely on Kalapana Kapoho Beach Road, which turns from a marginal to a semi-rocky public beach, little or not frequented due to strong currents and waves.

Roy Carvalho: The Name Wasn't Deceiving. A Hawaiian With Portuguese Blood

Fishermen use a corner of this place as a temporary anchorage for their boats. Before venturing into the new project, Roy Carvalho was one of them.

A tropical storm announces itself to Hawaii and generates waves with increasing dimensions. Roy doesn't seem impressed: “From what we've seen on the internet, it's expected to come but it's still a long way off. We have more than time to go back there without any hassle.”

His years of experience on those forays tell him that we are still far from the limits. Accordingly, we set sail without further delay, with the aim of reaching our destination at sunset.

We climbed miles along the wild coast and faced, with proactive navigation, the most problematic waves. Forty minutes later, we found a crowd of spectators gathered at the place designated by the park authorities for lateral observation of the phenomenon.

Publico, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Crowds wait for sunset to glimpse the flow of glowing lava into the Pacific Ocean.

Finally, the Incandescent Lava, in one of Hawaii's Volcanic Waterfalls

We continued for a while longer to the vicinity of the lava. Roy advises that, in order to stay in close proximity, he has to circle in an “eight” in order to face the waves head on. But no one on board hears him anymore.

Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Passengers on a speedboat watch the underground lava from Kilauea volcano meet the Pacific Ocean.

The helmsman carries out the plan, with extra care to avoid colliding with another launch on an identical mission, where enthusiastic passengers peer into the flurry of fire from binoculars, just like us, disturbed by the sea waves and the sulfurous smoke.

Photos, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers

Roy Carvalho's (Lava Tours) boat passenger photographs the distant smoke on the south coast of the Big Island.

Columns of contaminated steam continue to rise into the air, dense and dark. They are renewed each time a new incandescent stream comes into contact with water.

Eight after eight, the twilight sets in and brings out the red of the lava and the natural effects of the explosions. It welcomes a Dantesque atmosphere that the waves and rising humidity reinforce.

At some point, a more powerful wave takes the boat sideways and partially invades the lower bow. We felt, on our skin, the warmest sea that had ever bathed us.

The expedition leader is apprehensive, hides his fright as much as he can and ponders the reasonableness of persisting with this increasingly unusual ritual.

However, it gets dark once and for all. Nature gives Roy a new signal and the ultimate pretext for waiting.

Lava River, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park

Incandescent lava flows from the Earth's interior into the Pacific Ocean.

The Hawaiian submits to the evidence and gives a signal of retreat: “Sorry boys, it's getting too dangerous. It's time to go back!”

Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Maui, Hawaii

Maui: The Divine Hawaii That Succumbed to Fire

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Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Ascent to the Villarrica Volcano Crater, in Full Activity

Pucón abuses nature's trust and thrives at the foot of the Villarrica mountain. We follow this bad example along icy trails and conquer the crater of one of the most active volcanoes in South America.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
fastened by several wires
Curitiba, Brazil

The High-Quality Life of Curitiba

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World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

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Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Islamic silhouettes

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil, beach
Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil

The Sweetened Paraná of ​​Ilha do Mel

Located at the entrance to the vast Bay of Paranaguá, Ilha do Mel is praised for its nature reserve and for the best beaches in the Brazilian state of Paraná. In one of them, a fortress built by D. José I resists time and tides.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Meeting of the waters, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Manaus, Brazil

Meeting the Meeting of the Waters

The phenomenon is not unique, but in Manaus it has a special beauty and solemnity. At a certain point, the Negro and Solimões rivers converge on the same Amazonas bed, but instead of immediately mixing, both flows continue side by side. As we explore these parts of the Amazon, we witness the unusual confrontation of the Encontro das Águas.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
Natural Parks
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Thingvelir, Origins Democracy Iceland, Oxará
UNESCO World Heritage
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific, coral reef
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Mahu, Third Sex Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti
Papeete, French Polynesia

The Third Sex of Tahiti

Heirs of Polynesian ancestral culture, the Mahu they preserve an unusual role in society. Lost somewhere between the two genders, these men-women continue to fight for the meaning of their lives.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.