When we drove up to the park meeting centre, two female park rangers were giving ukulele lessons. I talked them into posing with me and my Scarborough Ukulele t shirt for the ukesters back home.
Another ranger was explaining about how volcanoes were formed, so we listened in. The geologic explanation was interesting, with magma bursting through the crust of the earth. The guide added that science has proven the ancient stories to be true.
Namakaokahai followed Pele throughout the Hawaiian Island chain, until Pele finally settled in the high mountains of Mauna Loa, which proved too high for the ocean’s waves to reach. Pele gained confidence here and engaged in battles with Namakaokahai. To this day, Pele’s eruptions from Hawaii Island’s volcanoes flow thick and hot till they reach the sea -- symbolizing the match in strength between the sisters of fire and water.Just as the legend states, the northwestern islands of Kauai and Oahu are older than the southeastern islands of Maui and Hawaii.
I love the fact that new land is being created every day in Hawaii, and that you can stand in places that are younger than you are.
It turns out our visit was on a remarkably clear day, as it is not often visitors can see the top of Mauna Loa. We loved exploring the natural wonders in the park, including steam vents, craters, lava tubes, lava flows and sea arches. A list mist brought a perfect rainbow to our side.
The jungle was incredibly lush, and we had the good fortune of coming across a native guide explaining uses of the Ki plant: making clothing, providing food and medicine, keeping bad spirits away.
Our B&B is just around the corner from the park, so we went back at night for the spectacular view. It looked like a city on fire.