Our third weekend in Hilo started off slow, but ended up being super cool. Saturday afternoon the head technician, Devin, picked us up and drove us to his house in the Puna district south of town. In the afternoon Jenny and I hiked a couple miles to a secluded beach and enjoyed a swim (photos below).
BIzarrely, the hike along the coast before we reached the beach didn't look anything like Hawaii; it looked more like Maine.
That evening we had sweet potato enchiladas (mmm) with Devin and then waited till after 11 and went out to see the LAVA. Visitors can visit during the day but those pesky guards keep you from getting to close; luckily they go home at 11 and it's possible to get about this close to the lava...
Visiting the lava was the most surreal part of Hawaii so far- it looked like how I imagine a post-nuclear warzone would look like. There was an eerie orange glow everywhere and in the distance the lava was burning through forests. While we there you could see methane off-gassing and hear methane explosions that shook the ground in the distance. Unfortunately, I left my camera here in the apartment and the camera Jenny loaned me ran out of batteries. The pictures on my phone aren't erm... great or anything, but I feel like this one sums up the feel of the night well.
Yesterday Jenny and I went to Richardson's Ocean Park, a nice rocky snorkel area (and marginal beach) near town, for the afternoon for some swimming and snorkeling. We saw sea urchin and a turtle! Last night we went and saw Inception. I highly recommend.
Another week of 7-5 here and then backpacking in Volcanoes National Park this weekend!