Sunday, June 10, 2007

Big Island - Champagne Pond

On Monday, June 4th, we drove from our cabin in Volcano town to our resort on the west side of the island. Along the way, we stopped at a couple sights. The first was Champagne Pond. This is a naturally occurring pool carved out of lava along the coast. The thing that makes it unique is that the water is heated by an underground lava tube, so it's about 95 degrees in there. It's a mix of ocean and fresh water, and a popular sea turtle hang-out. We saw 4 or 5 while we were there.

The pond actually borders a gated community in the back, so there are houses along the perimeter. Some have ladders from their deck into the pond. But if you take a 4-wheel drive lava road, there is public access from the back. You drive through the crazy, rugged lava flows from 1964. Once again, the Jeep comes in handy.

The rough lava road on the way to Champagne Pond:

Finally arriving after the bumpy ride:

This spot, on the eastern most tip of the island, supposedly has the purest air in the world. Scientists use it to compare other air samples to when measuring pollution. We stopped for a quick deep breath before turning onto the lava road to Champagne Pond.

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