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For the end of our day around Hilo, we head for Kaumana Caves State Park. It is an ancient lava tunnel formed during an eruption in 1880. The lava advanced very close to the city, but stopped 8 km before reaching it.
With erosion, parts of the tunnel collapsed, allowing access. We leave our car in the parking lot and head to the tunnel entrance, well equipped.
For almost an hour, we explore every nook and cranny, moving gently beneath the earth's surface in total darkness. We discover several different flows with very different aspects. Sometimes the tunnel comes back and we have to sneak in to keep going. The rooms follow one another and are all different, which makes the exploration really interesting.
Note: it is not recommended to explore the tunnel in case of heavy rainfall, as water infiltrates the tunnel.