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

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
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.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Ceremonies and Festivities

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
by the shadow
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
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.
Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

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Camel Racing, Desert Festival, Sam Sam Dunes, Rajasthan, India
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Lake Sorvatsvagn, Vágar, Faroe Islands
Vágar, Faroe Islands

The Lake that hovers over the North Atlantic

By geological whim, Sorvagsvatn is much more than the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. Cliffs with between thirty to one hundred and forty meters limit the southern end of its bed. From certain perspectives, it gives the idea of ​​being suspended over the ocean.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

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hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

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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.
Horseback riding in shades of gold
Natural Parks
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
Willemstad, Curacao, Punda, Handelskade
UNESCO World Heritage
Willemstad, Curaçao

The Multicultural Heart of Curaçao

A Dutch colony in the Caribbean became a major slave hub. It welcomed Sephardic Jews who had taken refuge from the Iberia Inquisition in Amsterdam and Recife. And it assimilated influences from the Portuguese and Spanish villages with which it traded. At the heart of this secular cultural fusion has always been its old capital: Willemstad.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Mme Moline popinée
LifouLoyalty Islands

The Greatest of the Loyalties

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Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
luxor, Egypt

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Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

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Christian believers leaving a church, Upolu, Western Samoa
Upolu, Samoa  

The Broken Heart of Polynesia

The imagery of the paradisiacal South Pacific is unquestionable in Samoa, but its tropical beauty does not pay the bills for either the nation or the inhabitants. Anyone who visits this archipelago finds a people divided between subjecting themselves to tradition and the financial stagnation or uprooting themselves in countries with broader horizons.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

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Meares glacier
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
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.