Over Spring Break, I traveled to O’ahu and The Big Island for an EOS Volcanology trip. Our main task was to observe the geology of the island, but really it was a mini vacation. I highly recommend the class.
We started with 3 days on O’ahu and drove around the island. We climbed Diamond Head and took pictures of the city’s beautiful layout under a gorgeous rainbow, swam in a rocky beach, and saw a sea turtle! At night we went to Rum Fire, a gorgeous club with an amazing ocean view and great dancers.
Next we flew to Hawai’i, the big island, and prepared to camp with no showers for the next 7 days. We visited Volcanoes National Park including Lava Tree Park and Kilauea Crater (which we saw glow at night!). We hiked through a lava tube through a beautiful rainforest. We saw sea turtles sunning on a black sand beach, hiked an hour to swim in a green sand beach, and made multiple road stops to witness pahoehoe and a’a lava flows. In my opinion, Hawai’i is much more gorgeous as we drove around the overlooks and watched the white foam crashing into the cliff face. It was super windy at one place and someone even sacrificed their hat to Pele! We also went to a lu’au at Kona and saw fire twirlers and traditional Hawaiian dancers. The next day we went to one of the top rated beaches in the world (the sand was so soft!) and played in the waves. The last day we went snorkeling (my new favorite water activity) and saw soooo many different types of fish, crabs, and green sea turtles!
Overall the trip was amazing and I loved the people I traveled with. Everyone was super chill and we seemed to get along very well. The vacation was nearly perfect but of course, we needed a bit more “excitement” at the end. Ours came in the form of a cancelled flight followed by a delayed one involving our professor abandoning his students to return home alone, sitting on the Tarmac for 4 hours, and a 9 hour stay at a four star resort hotel. So now we’ll be reaching Duke 24 hours after we were originally scheduled to and I just feel lucky to have my classes cancelled tomorrow. At this point, I’m not sure if we’ll ever get back but at least I have a group of fun (albeit grumpy) friends to travel with! But it’s okay, because I couldn’t be happier with how my week turned out. Mahalo Hawaii and aloha!