Welcome to a another @lordnigel's travels.
For those who follow me on Steemit you may have seen a quick video promo I did for @Steemitworldmap a while back; staring myself and Skye dog.
During the making (but not on film) I challenged my dog 'Skye dog' to pick my next vacation spot, you know via closed eye paw indication on a map haha.
Anyways she pawed pretty close to the Hawaiian islands...flights were cheap, so off I went - Now to share some photo's with my Steemian friends.
About the Hawaiin Islands
Most people think of the 7 or 8 largest islands when thinking of Hawaii like Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Big Island (the actual island called Hawaii, is the Big Island), but actually there are many islands, at last count 137.
Deciding which specific islands to visit was difficult, so I just picked a few big ones and a few isolated small ones, but today's post is about Big Island (Hawaii).
The above image (and all images in this post are original and taken on a camera I own). This above photo is of some Tiki Totems taken on Big Island - this kind of thing can be found out the front of important historic villages.
The Big Island is very volcanic looking, there are very few sandy beaches, most are rocky but no less beautiful.
The beaches are home to much wild life like the Monk seal and even green sea turtles!....they like to get their shells dry and can be spotted on some beaches if your lucky.
Given I love animals so much I have to share a few more turtle pictures - I think they are most excellent creatures :)
If you see turtles on the shore you should always keep your distance, not because they are dangerous its just they don't really enjoy having tourists sitting next to them with selfies, it scares them a bit.... With this respect in mind my photo's are at a reasonable distance not to scare them as its quite some effort for them to crawl up the shore - it's really amazing to sit and watch.
The coast lines are wild and rough - there are a few touristy must see's, like 'the arch' located at the far side of the Volcano's National Park.
If you know where to look some beaches do have nice sand, which is so soft you can end up knee deep - mostly these are not available with out a 4X4 and a knowledge how to find them.
Most of the landscape inland is 'volcanic looking' don't quote me on this but I believe it is home to the most active volcano's on the planet today. A recent eruption (last year) meant many area's are off limits to tourists.
Having a 4X4 means you can get to a few more places then the average tourist and I highly recommend it.
Make sure you have allot of water though - as if something were to go wrong, you might bake before someone found you.
It's interesting visiting some of the older lava flow areas they are vast and the photo's don't give it justice.
There is no one for miles, just old lava formations.
Here we see some ancient carvings in the rock - I understand the local islanders would calve these circles to place the umbilical chords after recently giving birth, a ceremony which would see the gods bless and empower the babies with long life and strength.
Inside the official parks you can walk inside volcano's and still see the steam (sulfur smell - yuck!). If you approach some of the rock giving off smoke and put your hand down it's... Really hot!! so I wouldn't be surprised if the thing was going to blow again soon :)
Mostly if you stick to the official tourist area's, vegetation has taken hold (meaning no recent eruptions or fissures) and its safe and the signage is easy to read.
This is a photo of one of the craters you can hike down to visit inside the volcano. It's pretty cool and smoke still comes through the rock when you enter.
Life starts to take hold after the volaco's are inactive for bit..
Inland and across the island are many beautiful waterfalls.
There are many scenic places.
It's also home to allot of bird life, such as this Nene (Endangered Hawaiin Goose).
Given most of the native vegetation is long gone from the islands, most of the trees and plants are introduced. For at least one of the larger islands its estimated less than 3% of the original vegetation and forests remain. Mostly the surface of the farmable area's were converted to sugar cane for export to the US. However after becoming part of the US the wages for working the farm and the loss of top soil, means they have all closed down now. Rather then the islands having no vegetation, most of what you see is has been transplanted from Africa - giving it that Jurassic park look. Unfortunately this means there are very few animals for me to take photo's of (Although its kept very quiet, i assume most are now extinct). No-one can say for sure as due to the volcanic nature of the islands no dinosaur fossils have been found - normally where you have dino's you have modern animals/mammals etc.
Anyways, for those of you whom are Australian like me you would know of Captain cook. Big island is of course where he 'bought the farm'...got killed. The islanders supposedly boiled him and took his bones to absorb his power (pending whom you ask). Here is a photo of the monument pretty close to where he got speared - I took it from a Kayak off the coast.
For a close up it reads..
I hope you enjoyed this @lordnigel's travels. Until next time take care and Steem on!