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Flowing Lava (June 1, 2007)

During breakfast today Gabe booked a helicopter flight so that we could see flowing lava. Our tour departed around 9:30 a.m. and we flew over a lot of old lava flow. Our pilot was great and gave us a lot of information along the way. We even flew over a restricted area where the Army "blows things up" as Kiwi, our pilot, put it. We actually saw missiles ready to be launched. Luckily, today was not a training day, or we obviously would not have been able to fly over the area. I was able to see orange lava traveling down to the ocean. Then we were able to see red lava flowing into the ocean and the steam that came up once it hit the water. It was a really cool experience. Then we went around the countryside looking at waterfalls and valleys. We flew down 4,000 feet into a valley and had lunch. That was awesome. Luckily our pilot has been flying for 36 years and even flew in Vietnam. He had logged over 22,000+ hours. So, I felt pretty safe riding with him. He would get us so close to things that if I would have stuck my hand out of the window I think that I would have been able to touch them. He flew through the valley (it was like a video game) and we came back to the airport. It was a 3 hour helicopter ride and it was phenomenal! It is a great way to see the island. We were able to go places that are not accessible by hiking or car...only helicopters. We came back to the hotel and did some laundry. Now we getting ready to go to a luau. It should be a lot of fun. P.S. The sea urchin spine has still not left my foot yet.