Day 6 started with some rain as we made our way down the mountain towards Hilo. As we drove along in the rain to our first destination I found the Apple Maps (the rental car has Apple Car Play) can let you down.
It had me turn on this ‘street’, which after about a mile I decided to give up, and back up until I could turn around. It is literally at the edge of town, so we weren’t way out in the middle of nowhere.
Eventually we reached the town of Kalapana, about 20 miles south of Hilo, and Kaimu ‘Beach’. At one time it was a black sand beach, but in 1990 a lava flow overtook the beach and filled the entire bay.
As noted yesterday many believe that Hawaii is an independent Kingdom, not part of the U.S., especially for any new land that wasn’t part of the U.S. acquisition.
This lava flow had some large cracks in it when it cooled.
We are standing ‘in the bay’ looking back towards town.
Further down the road is where the Spring 2018 lava flow wiped out 700 houses. While I feel bad for the people and their loss, who builds their house in the path of a volcano that has been flowing nearly continuously for 100 years or more.
Yet here they are again, already popping up these little houses on the freshly cooled lava.
Returning the other direction along the coast, we passed through some great forests.
Eventually we reached MacKenzie State Park. Note the fisherman climbing the precariously placed ladder on the left and his fishing pole on the right. I am not sure what he is catching, but I hope it is worth it.
On another recent lava flow people have placed Cairns made out of coconuts and leaves instead of the traditional rock piles.
But it did lead to another great coastal view.
Returning to Hilo, we went to Wailuku River Park, and found this impressive Banyan tree.
The highlight of the park is Rainbow Falls. If you are there in the morning you will most likely see a rainbow, but it was afternoon so alas, we only saw the waterfall.
About 20 miles north of Hilo is Akaka Falls. The hike down was through another ‘jungle’, although this one was nicely paved.
At 442′ high it is one of the tallest waterfalls in America.
There are even small waterfalls coming out of the rocks to the side of the main falls.
The falls in located near the town of Honomu.
Interestingly many small Hawaiian towns are built in the ‘old west’ style, albeit much more colorful.
Once again we had a great view from our hotel, facing west across Hilo Bay towards the mountains (obscured by clouds in this photo).
Next door was Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens. The site was donated by Queen Lili’uokalani, with the park being built in 1917 in the Edo style Japanese Gardens.
It is thought to be one of the best in the world outside of Japan.
Well maintained with beautiful trees and landscaping.
Along with some sculptures.
I am not sure what these are known as so I called them Bonsai Palms.
The park was very relaxing, and a great way to end the day.
Many of the native trees have really cool, funky looks to them.
Chillin’ on Coconut Island.
Our hotel grounds were directly on the bay.
As the sun was setting the last of the days flights were arriving. The airport was nearby, and the flight path brought the planes down the coast with a hard left turn just before the field. The clouds and setting sun added to the look.
Another great Hawaiian sunset. Note that Manua Loa has come out of the clouds in the background.
With that it was time for dinner, with entertainment.