big island volcano lava flow

Fissure 8 Tours at Leilani Estates in Lower Puna

fissure 8 tours

A few of the residents of Leilani Estates subdivision are none too happy that Fissure 8 Tours are now happening. Probably because they aren’t making any money from the tragic disaster and they resent those who do. Yet the individual whose private property we were invited to tour is such a sweet person. It shocks me a little that some of those residents are so hostile to her.

My friend Loli had an opportunity to book us as comped guests on one of the very first Fissure 8 tours, so I jumped on it. The police allow only residents and guests to enter Leilani Estates. We were guests of Pamela, a resident, arranged through Kapahokine Tours.

Fissure 8 tours

Residents in an SUV pulled up alongside our van and complained, saying it is against the HOA regulations to do business in Leilani Estates. Although, locals say most people run a business of some sort, from therapy, to massages, to housecleaning. Gigs are a fact of life. This disgruntled woman threatened to call the police which, of course, she was welcome to do. The police do not enforce HOA regulations. They cannot stop Fissure 8 tours.

Fissure 8 tours

People who are not from the Big Island may be unfamiliar with Fissure 8, but they certainly know that Kilauea erupted this spring, causing 2,000 people to lose their homes. Fissure 8 captured the attention of media because it is a 100-foot cinder cone that started as a crack yet blasted magma 200-feet high.

Fissure 8 tours

Fissure 8 is in Pamela’s back yard. Beyond is the ocean. Her entire property is still developing cracks. You can feel the heat in the vents. What was once a ravine is now filled with lava, and wild orchids grow off to one side.

Fissure 8 tours

This is one of the neighbor’s dogs. He has 5 or 6 of these beautiful creatures. I highly recommend the tour. It makes one reflect on what is important in life and puts our own lives in perspective. Our hearts go out to all those who lost their homes and everything they owned.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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