It isn’t often in life that you get a chance to stand upon a layer of volcanic eruption. never mind the fact that the volcano in question has apparently been extinct for the past 150,000 years. Can it really be that old? “Yes,” replies Rick Dagamatu, my host on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, as I stand and gaze at Diamond Head, the name of a volcanic tuff cone, so named because British sailors in the 19th century mistook calcite crystals embedded in the rock for diamonds. “The eruption that built up Diamond Head was probably very brief, lasting no more than a few days. It was probably explosive, since when the cinder cone was originally formed, the sea level is thought to have been higher and the vent burst erupted over a coral reef,” the local guidebook states.
Scientific explanations apart, the view from Diamond Head is fantastic with the clear blue waters of the ocean stretching for miles ahead with little boats and big ships riding its waves. I am in Honolulu, the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Hawaii, for what may euphemistically be termed a conference cum pleasure trip. The conference is boring. It’s the invitation of ‘pleasure’ that beckons. And that wish is soon fulfilled when Dagamatu takes me for a whirlwind tour of the city. Honolulu is a major hub for international business, military defence, as well as being famous for a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
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