So, I already confessed that I am not a coffe lover. My second confession is I snuck away from the Kona Coffee Festival to visit with Eva Lee. Why? Because Eva grows tea, and I do like tea. Very much so. Eva serves up a beautiful tea tasting in the ohia lehua and giant hapu’u fern forest in which she lives in Volcano, Hawaii.
Because the drive from my hotel in Kona is a good 2 hours to Eva’s place, I made a stop in Na’alehu for a malasada from the world-famous Punalu’u Bake Shop. I sampled (well, rather, gobbled) the Portuguese doughnut with lilikoi (passion fruit) frosting and a second filled with vanilla custard. Then, I rolled down the highway to Eva’s.
On my way back from Eva’s, I stopped at Volcanoes National Park, because, well, how could I not. I drove right past the entrance, and I’ve been wanting to check out the new plume at Halema’uma’u Crater since the explosion last March, which scattered debris over 75 acres. It tossed boulders the size of small cars across the crater. It closed roads. Thankfully, when I visited, it wasn’t spewing rocks, but it was throwing off high amounts of sulfur dioxide gas, as you can see here. So much so, there were warning signs posted everywhere. I could taste it in the air, but it didn’t bother me. Supposedly, after sunset, the crater glows. That’s because we can’t see it during the day, but there’s really a hot, molten lava lake beneath the surface of the crater.