December 28th, Hilo Hawaii
Today is our 3rd anniversary & we managed to get a little car from Enterprise! We picked up the rental at 8am and drove straight to Champagne pond. If you ever get a chance, I strongly recommend heading out to the Puna district on the Big Island and making your way over to Champagne Pond. The drive out to Puna is beautiful.
Champagne pond is a geothermally heated lagoon filled with fish and turtles. The trick is getting there. You'll need a 4 x 4 vehicle and head towards the pond from the lighthouse in Puna or you can choose to walk the hike which is beautiful, but its a long hike over lava boulders. The other option is to park at the gated community and pretend you're staying in the area. The community is built all around the pond and some people have their own private pool. Its still a couple blocks to walk from the gate, and if you get lost you can't count of the people staying there to help or give directions. The photo looks a little dark but under the water it looks like this:
We also made our way to the Kapoho Tidepools which are close by. The tidepools are amazing and you can swim in most of them. They are filled with sea life! Here's a picture Anson took of a slate pencil urchin:
The wildlife varies from pool to pool. Sometimes you'll find yourself in a sea cucumber pool or a sea urchin pool. I don't know how they segregate themselves. Its probably coincidental. Here's what the tidepools look like:
Its neat because there's so many rocks to climb on and explore.
Next we hit the volcano and drove down the Chain of Craters road to get to the lava. Every trip to the Big Island we vow to make our way to the lava. But we always get to the hike too late and after about 1 and a half hours of hiking in the dark, volcano madness sets in and we decide to turn back. We did get farther this time and made it out to the second ledge and viewing area.