Day 7 on the Big Island will forever be a day that holds a special place in my heart, little did i know that this would be the day that i would witness one of the most incredible sights i have seen thus far. It was so incredible in fact that i will do a separate post of it even though it was part of day 7. It began early in the morning, if you know me at all this is a very rare occurrence for me as i am NOT a morning person. Amazingly i was in good spirits for having to get up early, per has it was the prospect of good photos ahead. Jen had wanted to visit a place called black sand beach, we had put it off for a while and finally decided to go to it. Also on the itinerary was the return to the other side of the volcano to see if we could get a better view, so off we went just jen and i. We were to meet up with the rest of the fam later to head to the volcano. The drive to black sad was long and windy but it was fun, just cruisin listening to music as the rain came down. We had not eaten breakfast yet so we stopped a long the way at a little restaurant called Hana Hou. It was a cool little place, not seeing a lot on the menu that appealed to me i decided to be brave and try something called the "Loco Moco". Basically it was a bed of rice topped with spam gravy and eggs.......so basically spam and eggs. I was a little apprehensive when the waitress put it in front of me and almost changed my mind, but i had ordered it and so i charged forward. It passed the 1st test........i didnt go blind......actually it wasnt bad at all albeit it was incredibly salty. I couldn't finish the whole thing though, but got through most of it, bellies full and me feeling more Hawaiian than ever having now tried spam and eggs we hit the road. Soon we reached Black Sand Beach and yep you guessed it the sand was all black. We soon were ready for some snorkeling and hit the water, few fish were to be seen and the water was kind of murky, iwas about to call it quits but soon found a nice clear area and some turtles that were more curious about me that any i had photographed before. This beach would provide some of the best shots i had gotten so far, satisfied and tired i got out of the water to wait for the rest of the crew. My wife ever vigilant had spotted some kids fishing on this old bridge that was there, it was seriously like something out of the book, i only wish that the light had been better. Still i came away with a shot that i was happy with. The fam arrived and William told me they had passed a turtle that was on the sand sleeping. So off i went to get some shots. I can honestly say that i now understand (at least partially) why so many locals detest tourist. I think that these people come here and are either alliterate or stupid or both, i say this because there were signs clearly posted saying to stay at least 15 ft way from a sleeping turtle. So what do people do? they go up to it, poke it, pet it, get real close to take pictures with it. The animal was clearly agitated but people are to idiotic to understand i guess and keep doing it. At any rate i know hate tourist........ ok so off to the volcano we went. After a long drive we arrived and could see a huge plume of smoke so we were all excited. In the end we were a little disappointed though since the lookout was further away than we thought, it was for safety reasons of course but hey a photographer always wants to be closer. Since it was daylight there really wasnt much to see except for the occasional explosion of water when the lava met the water. I shot what i could and soon left, many of the locals had told us to come back at night so get a much better view. So jen and i committed to coming back later at night despite the long drive back home. We made our way to some other sites in the mean time including a natural steam room, and a geothermal pool that was right by the beach. With all the volcanic activity in the area there were some of these sweet places like the steam room that were naturally heated. In fact the steam room was crazy, cus its just a hole in the earth but you go in there an its easily 100 degrees in there. You can feel the heat even at the rim of the cave, i was covered in sweat by the time we left. The pool was pretty neat too as it was also naturally heated, i didnt go in though as im not a fan of hot water and by this time i had realized that i had shot almost everything underwater so i was trying to get as much cool landscape stuff as i could. I wanted to be back to the volcano by sunset, and as the sun was ever closer to the horizon i knew that we would not make it in time. That drive back was a painful one for me, as the light was just beautiful and we passed so many cool spots to take photos, but it was one or the other at this point and i was placing my hopes on a good show at the volcano................i was not disappointed.